Your grandfather‚Äôs chili may have routinely made your Sundays special when you were little, but do you know what seasonings gave it that distinctive flair? ‚ÄúHave your grandparents document traditional family recipes, whether written or orally, so there is always a way to remember them and pass them down for generations,‚ÄĚ says Julie Gurner, Ph.D., a doctor of clinical psychology, who lost a grandparent a few years ago.
‚ÄúMy Italian grandmother was known for her dishes that she just seemed to know by heart but were not written down, ‚ÄĚ Gurner shares. ‚ÄúOne Christmas, I asked her to write down her recipes, and it was one of the best things I have ever done. She finally had to measure out all of those ‚Äėpinches‚Äô of ingredients, and I now have a way of replicating my grandmother‚Äôs wonderful cooking that brings back memories of family dinners at her home,‚ÄĚ she explains. Get started with these 20 recipes like grandma used to make.
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Maybe they really did walk to school one mile in the snow or struggled with spelling, just like you. Asking your grandparents about their day-to-day life as children will help you understand them better and teach you about the era they grew up in. ‚ÄúThese conversations will help you learn more about your grandparents and their background, but even more so, will give you a chance to really connect with them before they are gone,‚ÄĚ adds Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT, author of Life Transitions: Personal Stories of Hope Through Life‚Äôs Most Difficult Challenges and Changes.
Everyone‚Äôs family tree holds a few genetic surprises. ‚ÄúAsk your grandparents what health conditions seemed to crop up often in the family,‚ÄĚ suggests Eileen Roth, an organizational expert of Jewish and European descent. Finding out about her family‚Äôs geographic origins helped her determine the types of genetic tests she should take, to safeguard her health and the health of her descendants. Filling out the details of your family‚Äôs medical history can help you be aware of what specific conditions you and your own children should be on the lookout for. Find out the 12 things your mother‚Äôs health says about you.
Maybe they had an ill-fated love affair, Titanic-style, or maybe they married their one true love and started your wonderful family as a result. ‚ÄúAsk your grandparent how they met their spouse. They probably did some very interesting things together, plus, the whole courting process was so different, back in the day,‚ÄĚ says Cheryl Smith, owner of Consider It Done Transition Services. ‚ÄúI spend a lot of time with elders as they sort through their years of belongings and am blessed to hear a lot of stories. I often find that families don‚Äôt know these stories, and they are so poignant to listen to,‚ÄĚ she adds. You would be a fool not to follow these 28 marriages tips from grandmas.