Spoonfuls’ staff share family food memories

May 27, 2022 Updated: January 23, 2024

Food is the great unifier. It’s something all humans need to survive, but – for many of us – it’s more than just sustenance. It’s how we connect and make memories with others. In honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Spoonfuls’ staff share some of their favorite food memories involving their parents, parent-figures, and the kids in their lives.

Lauren Palumbo’s “dessert shelf”

“When I was a kid, I thought in systems and logic. I even inventoried my halloween candy. (Foreshadowing, perhaps?) I struggled with stories or systems that were not logical to my kid-brain. But one creative use of this approach was my “dessert shelf.” I genuinely imagined my stomach looked like a pantry. So when I was done eating my dinner, I would say I was full. But, I would clarify for my parents that my “dessert shelf” was empty. What’s comical is that I now have almost no sweet tooth, but, as a kid, I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity for some cookies or ice cream. 

For some reason, my sister shared this story with my nephew, Bobby. And now he uses the same phrase with me at the end of every dinner. He knows I’m not big on dessert, but he always wants his!”

Learning to love mealtime with Joni Kusminsky

“For her first 2+ years, our daughter struggled with food allergies, developed trouble chewing and swallowing, aspirated on food, and was treated for pneumonia multiple times. It was… a lot. Eating was painful for her and mealtime stressful for all of us. Thankfully (shout out to an incredible team of pediatricians and occupational therapists), she’s now a kid who appreciates nothing more than a terrific meal. She doesn’t recall it any other way, in fact. 

We took to heart the advice of one of her occupational therapists who encouraged us to involve her, as early and often as possible, in the planning and preparation of meals. She’s involved to this day. She’s 10 now and, every week, she helps to inventory what we have on hand, plan our menu of family meals, write out our grocery list, actively select produce at the farmers’ market that we’ll all eat and enjoy, cook dinner, and store leftovers. This kind of active participation in meals led her (and all of us, really!) to better appreciate what we have and where it comes from. But not only that, these are the same strategies we apply to reducing household food waste!”

Father and son tradition’s with Anthony Summa

“As a kid, my favorite food memory is probably the least gourmet meal in the world: hot dogs on sliced white bread. I used to have that all the time with my dad while we were at my grandparents’ house. We would sit around the table and play cards and just be together. It’s one of my favorite family memories. 

Now a dad myself, my favorite food memories with Luca (and hopefully soon Emiliano, who’s still an infant) are simply cooking together. We’ve had a lot of fun making pastas and anything with batter or dough that we can play with and get nice and messy.”

Kati Sigel’s apple picking tradition

“One of the highlights of the fall for my family, specifically my daughter and me, is apple picking. Everything about this activity makes us happy – enjoying the crisp autumn air, climbing trees, tasting the different varieties, going on a hayride and never minding the prickly seat, taking turns holding the overflowing bags, and, of course, the hot apple cider donuts after an active afternoon. An annual and important tradition for my New England family.”

Kitchen magic tricks with Erin Keohane

“I grew up with two parents who loved to cook and were incredible partners in the kitchen. I used to watch their every move, and always felt a sense of comfort just watching their process (even when it involved some colorful language). Now, I have my own curious kid – my 14-month-old son Jack. He absolutely loves watching me in the kitchen cutting, stirring, smashing, and occasionally blending (which took him a while to warm up to). I think his favorite kitchen moment is when I let the steam release from a pot, some sort of magic trick for him I’m sure. While it might not be gourmet cooking, he finds it fascinating and I can’t wait for the age when he can be alongside me helping out.”

Related posts:

Minimizing Food Waste with a Growing Family

Tackling Wasted Food with Littles

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