Food and Family

Food and family go hand in hand, especially at this time of year. The holiday season is often one of joyfulness and togetherness, but is also a period that brings with it big emotions and often underscores the complexity of our family ties. This playlist looks at the messy, nostalgic, heartbreaking and heartwarming stories about family food traditions.

We have podcasts hosted by parents, children and sibling duos, interviews with pasta grannies and family-run businesses, and conversations about the meaning of heritage and community. 

From everyone at HRN, happy holidays!

My Family Recipe Episode 1: Motherhood and Chocolate Cake with Lisa Ruland: A story about how chocolate cake - a festive treat if there ever was one - brought about unlikely healing through grief. Lisa Ruland is a food writer, professional baker, and the curator of The Food + Grief Project. She talks about her relationship to food after the tragic loss of her husband, how she found connection while mourning, and how a chocolate birthday cake catalyzed what is now an honored family tradition. Her step-daughter Margot joins the conversation to share memories and talk about mothers lost and found.

Cooking in Mexican from A to Z Episode 13: Mole Through the Generations: Mother-son co-hosts Zarela Martínez & Aarón Sánchez explore the layered flavors and history of mole. There is a different mole for every palate and protein, from negro to colaradito to rojo. Zarela and Aarón are thrilled to welcome another mother-son duo, Susana Trilling and Kaelin Ulrich, to help ensure they cover it all.

Processing Episode 80: Bobbie and Z: Mother-daughter duo, Bobbie Comforto and Zahra Tangorra talk to each other about the defining moments of their lives, the traumas and triumphs that made them who they are today, and what they were cooking and eating along the way. 

A Taste of the Past Episode 345: Pasta Grannies: Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks: Who ever thought a video series about watching old Italian grandmothers making pasta would become a hugely successful YouTube channel? Food writer Vicky Bennison saw something special and spent over five years filming and interviewing the women who became "Pasta Grannies." Traditional regional recipes and techniques will be preserved thanks to her foresight and work. And now there's a companion cookbook that shares not only the recipes but also the extraordinary stories of these endearing women. And Vicky shares with us the behind-the-scene tales.

Let’s Talk About Food Episode 14: A Cookbook Creates Community: Karl Schatz and Margaret Hathaway live on Ten Apple Farm in Maine with their three daughters. Margaret is a writer; Karl is a photographer. Once they decided to make Maine their home and raise their family on a goat farm, they went all in–––for Maine. They were the two pillars behind the award-winning Maine Bi-Centennial Community Cookbook, published last summer. The cookbook was a smash –over 200 recipes from Maine-ers of all stripes, chock full of people, family, and all things Maine. Margaret Hathaway tell the story of how a community cookbook published in the heart of the Pandemic came to be the heart center of the state.Karl, a true Maine-r, will chime in with his own story of growing up Jewish in Maine with his great grandmother, Sadie the Kosher Caterer AKA"Cookie Nana,"

My Family Recipe Episode 6: Three Generations of Women, One Leche Flan with Giselle Krachenfels: Leche flan became Giselle Krachenfels’ favorite dessert both because it was delicious and because it connected her with Filipino culture. Having mixed heritage, Giselle felt the need to prove her Filipino identity and leche flan became a way to do just that. Except that she couldn’t get the recipe right. This is a story about how one dessert helped three generations of women navigate new surroundings and a sense of self. 

Snacky Tunes Episode 478: World’s Biggest Family Meal: Massimo & Lara’s Playlist (Live): Brothers and co-hosts Darin and Greg Bresnitz bring listeners a live recording of the World's Biggest Family Meal, a global hospitality gathering supporting the food industry. We joined WBFM’s founder and host, Leiti Hsu, in a lively conversation with Lara Gilmore and Chef Massimo Bottura about music, food and the couple’s important work with their Food for Soul project. 

For the musical portion of this episode we tap into our archives. We originally had DRAMA on the show back in the summer of 2018. The Chicago R&B / dance duo composed of producer Na’el Shehade and vocalist Via Rosa regaled us with stories of how they collaborate on both making music and building restaurants. (Via’s a chef and Na’el is a restaurateur.) DRAMA recently dropped a new single with Gorgon City called “You’ve Done Enough.” 

Time for Lunch Episode 7: Peaches!: HRN’s podcast for kids is always a great listen for families with young eaters. In this episode, hosts Hannah and Harry ask: What sort of peach looks like a tennis ball? What sort of music do peach trees like? What can you make with a peach pit? Learn about growing and eating the furriest fruit: peaches! Urban Farmer Germaine Jenkins of Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, shares an amazing story about how she finally figured out a very fun way of getting her peach trees to bear fruit. Plus, Stephen Rose co-founder of The Peach Truck  tells us about his favorite peaches and how he delivers them to fruit-lovers around the country. And you’ll get to hear from his daughter. We’ve got a refreshing recipe created by chef BJ Dennis, jokes, a peachy book recommendation and much more. 

Meat and Three Episode 115: The Flavor of Memory: This episode explores how the smell, taste, or story behind dishes can inspire art, preserve heritage and forge connections across cultures and continents. First, we visit a family in the Bay Area to learn about how food has evoked nostalgia for them after immigrating from China. Next, we hear from an educational organization based in O’ahu about their mission of promoting environmental preservation. We then head to the backstage of a one-woman play, where we talk to the playwright about her relationship to food as an Indian-American. Finally, we flip through the pages of diasporic Vietnamese cookbooks to discover the narratives embedded within.

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