Stirring Up Memories in the Kitchen


Antique kitchen gadgets

Many memories are made in the kitchen.

This is the place where family and friends gather not only to eat, but to tell stories. The kitchen smells good, and of course the food looks and tastes good! It appeals to our senses. The kitchen is a warm and cozy place-a great place for making many more memories.

Stir up some memories with your older family member or friend with the following ideas:

  • Cook a dish and share the tasks with an older family member. Give them simple tasks such as pouring, stirring, whisking, measuring, kneading dough, fluting, slicing (if safe) or taste testing. If tasks are too much for someone, let them watch and listen.
  • During your time together reminisce about cooking and baking. Ask questions like: What is your favorite meal? What is your favorite recipe? Is there one recipe that other people often asked you for? What food do you feel that you make best? What meal do you make/did you make that is your family’s favorite? Is there a recipe that was handed down from your parents or grandparents that you remember? What meals or types of foods did you serve or eat on holidays? Who taught you how to cook? Did you teach anyone to cook? See this post on Reminiscing About Canning.
  • Make use of all your senses in the kitchen. Encourage an older person, for example, to smell the ingredients, especially spices, fruit, baked goods, etc… as you cook. Look at the colors; touch the ingredients; listen for kitchen timers, tea kettles whistling, or the whirring of a mixer; and of course taste test along the way. For more about sensory in the kitchen: Using Spices for Remembering and Sensory.
  • After cooking up a dish sit down and share a meal together.
  • Include children when you can in preparing a meal. Children point out many things we might not generally notice.
  • Even cleaning up after a meal can be fun. Many memories have been made over doing dishes.
  • It might be fun to play a game in the kitchen such as this Baker’s Quiz. See who can guess the answers!

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