On the Road with Wendell Berry

“Neither nature nor people alone can produce human sustenance, but only the two together, culturally wedded. […] as many people as possible should share in the ownership of he land and thus be bound to it by economic interest, by the investment of love and work, by family loyalty, by memory and tradition. […] the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

Reading some classic Wendell Berry as we drive home and wondering what stories lay in these long stretches of farmland in northern Ohio.

What families have lived and loved and toiled in the soil there? 

What has grown in and lived on that land through the years?  

I find myself drawn to the depth and richness of history wrapped up in a place. Personal histories, family memories, the routine of the mundane, of everyday life. I want to know how people passed their days, what they ate, how they raised their children, what they called their dogs and nicknamed their wives.

Out of that desire, I am dreaming up a family memory and cookbook. It’s just in the daydream stages now but I am thinking a collection of photos, stories, handwritten recipes, food memories and more.  My first step was to ask for recipe ideas from as many of our family members as possible and my list is growing day by day.

Have you ever done anything like this?  What was your method?  Send me your suggestions!

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