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For me, it's the pierogi. My grandmother made the best pierogi. (According to my mom, there is no recipe, but I'm not sure I believe her.)

We ate them with our Christmas Eve dinner every year, a tradition that sadly no one in my family but me attempts to preserve. Mine do not compare to my grandmother's. Like you said, I think the magic must have been in her hands!

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The most delicious tradition. I love a good pierogi. I hope you enjoy them this Christmas Eve!

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Funny you bring this up...for years, I've been trying to recreate a Greek lentil soup recipe from a now-closed restaurant. It finally got released in a book, but even with the directions in hard copy, it wasn't *quite* the same. Now I'm convinced the soup represents so much more than nourishment—it's the association of being mentored by my undergrad thesis advisor (whose family happened to own the restaurant near the university) and being encouraged to share my ideas with the world.

(Also giggling because I too, found a forgotten bag of fish cakes in my deep freezer recently.)

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Oh, what a wonderful memory—that encouragement really shapes us! Happy fish-cake eating :)

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I loved your description of your mom's catfish cakes. My mom is an incredible cook, though she lives in a retirement community now. Growing up she made everything from scratch and milked the Jersey cow We made butter with the cream and wonderful homemade ice cream. But before school in the mornings, she'd make waffles from scratch with fresh strawberries from our field (which she froze in the off season) and whipped cream from our cow. Wonderful!!

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How delicious! What lovely food memories your mom made for you! Thanks so much for reading, Susan.

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Thanks for the fun memories your stories evoked. I taught in China for a few years and have some sweet memories of dishes served to me by friends. Have a blessed day!

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Dec 18, 2023Liked by Thao Thai

Ga Ca Ri. I used Andrea Nguyen’s recipe (with one tweak), and it actually tasted very much like home, my mother’s recipe, her kitchen. It makes me feel proud to be able to share this with my girls and feed them our people’s food, have them taste my love the way I would my mom’s. I’m not sure where she got her recipe, but this is the heirloom that i am passing down.

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Dec 14, 2023Liked by Thao Thai

Beautifully written! As someone who likes to remake the only 2 recipes (of course never written) that I remember from my dad or who searched franctically the internet for an old régional recipe my grandma used to make so often but that i never paid attention to, i would advise you to get that catfish cake recipe. For after. For you. For remembering when you ll need it sometimes.

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I hope he found the recipe! <3

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