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Family recipes keep memories alive

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What favorite recipe lives on from generation to generation  in your family?

For grandmother Lucille Craft, her legacy of love and care for her family included the special dishes she made for them. Orange potato salad was one of the recipes that needed to be passed down, and she wanted to make sure her granddaughter, Kelly Hayes, knew how to make it.

Ken Craft, Kelly”s father, says orange potato salad was one of his favorite foods growing up. "When Kelly makes it, I think of the good times at home in Arlington, Va. Mom always made it for the holidays – especially the Fourth of July." The usual feast consisted of Virginia ham, orange potato salad, sweet tea and cheese rolls.

For Kelly, orange potato salad is more than just a recipe, too. "I can remember as a little girl going to visit my grandmother, and we would always have orange potato salad on the first night we were there."

Orange potato salad, made with Kraft French dressing, onion and a special vinegar mixture is different than white potato salad; it has a unique, tangy flavor.

Lucille moved to Gwinnett a year before she found out she had cancer. "I”m so thankful that my mom moved here from Arlington for the last three years of her life, so she could spend more time and create memories with my brother and I, and of course, her grandchildren," Ken adds.

After Lucille moved here, it gave Kelly an opportunity to spend more time with her grandmother – a woman she had always looked up to. "I learned so much from her." Kelly remembers one occasion of going to visit her grandma and coming back drinking milk with ice in it because "that”s the way Grandma did it."

"For me, learning to make orange potato salad was an experience and memory I will never forget. I think it meant a lot to my grandma, too, because she felt so inclined to make sure it was carried on."

Like many families, food is one thing that brings the Craft family together. "We don”t have a lot of other family traditions to pass down, so recipes are the closest way to recall the past," Ken says. "I love that Kelly takes the time to make one of Mom”s special recipes. It”s like Mom is there in the kitchen with us."

If you have a treasured family recipe with a story behind it, please share it with us.