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Family Heritage: Middle Names, Pots & Dishes

March 10, 2010

This morning I was listening to the radio while driving to a meeting, and the DJs started talking about it being Middle Name Pride Day.

My first thought was, “What a shock! Yet another national ‘holiday.'” The DJs actually had a point though.

Middle names, reportedly, are more carefully considered than first names because they tend to pay homage to your family. I identified with this theory immediately. My mom gave me her middle name. And, when I imagine the possibility of naming children, I always consider passing on the same middle name. It just seems right.

But, however I much I enjoy knowing that I share my mother’s middle name, I cherish other elements of my family’s traditions more. Or, I should say “traditions” (yes, in quotes) since it’s not always a tradition.

For example, I recently absconded with a couple of place settings from my mom’s set of dishes. Let me be clear, these aren’t from the fancy set of china. No. They’re place settings from her blue and white patterned Corelle ware.

And then there are the other kitchen goodies I’ve made off with and use routinely because, quite frankly, I wouldn’t know how to make some recipes if I didn’t use a particular mixing bowl or a particular pot.

Just important to me, each time I use the Corelle ware, measuring cup, wooden spoon or pot, I enjoy the meal I’m making and the memories that are imbued in each one of those tools.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to smuggle out the collection of cookbooks without my mom noticing. It’s not likely to happen, but a daughter can imagine.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 12:32 am

    Right. I think it would be easier to defend your theft if you do not outline the intent in an online forum. This is what I didn’t learn this week since they were busy babying us and talking ad nauseum about time management. Doing which made every single one of the condescending bastards run over lecture time. Guess who’s laughing? I just hate the hand holding – let the idiot ones fail. Its weeding out. I believe in Darwinian teaching methods. And who wants a defense put on by someone who only just passed anyway?!

  2. March 11, 2010 5:11 am

    What a lovely post, Steff. So, what IS your middle name?

    I know what you mean about using family kitchen tools. Actually, I don’t use Big Mama’s Fire King Jadeite batter bowl. I just open the cupboard, look at it, smile and keep it tucked away there for now. :)

  3. March 11, 2010 7:38 am

    Kat – My mom has pointed that out that it’s not the best strategy for me to publicly declare my intent to “acquire” some of her kitchen stuff. The place settings for example. As for your classmates, I’m wiling to bet a good chunk of ’em won’t be around much longer. Darwin will do his job.

    Stacey – It’s Kay. Stephanie Kay Childs. (is it egotistical to say that i love my name?) And I have my version of Big Mama’s bowl. It’s a set of glasses that my Dranny gave me and that I can’t quite believe are mine now. I’ve used ’em a couple of times, but I haven’t trusted them with company. Yet.

  4. March 11, 2010 10:20 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I managed to beg my grandmother’s favorite cookbook from her, and I have the omelette pan my mom got as a wedding gift. Living 1800 miles away, whenever I cook with these, I feel close to them both. There are also the heirloom recipes: my grandfather’s chocolate cake, my mom’s salsa. They were the basis for my blog. Things I made because I missed home, first in England, and then when we moved to New Jersey.

    Middle names are a big deal to my husband’s family. There is a tradition that the first son gets the father’s first name as his middle name. And then there’s my want to name a son after my grandfather. But can you really stick a kid this day and age with the name Earl? Not really. Not unless it’s a middle name. Something he can easily shorten if he hates it. So William Earl it will be. Hell, the kid’s screwed no matter what. Our surname is giggle-worthy at the best of times. :)

    • March 12, 2010 12:31 am

      Amber – Thank goodness for middle names! Not to mention the family kitchen heirlooms!

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