For many of us, the dishes we hold most dear and remember most fondly are not from the menu of a Michelin starred restaurant or cooked up by a world-class chef but the dishes cooked for us by someone we love. It was with this in mind that our own Barbara Magro, director of business development - SE and Caribbean, set out to document her mother’s recipes that were the heart of the family growing up and put them into Recipes to Remember (November 2011), one woman’s journey through life and her quest to preserve the memory of her mother’s cooking from the devastating effects of memory loss.
In Recipes to Remember, which is part epicurean journey and part cookbook, Barbara writes about her traditional Italian upbringing and the choices she made for her life after witnessing the roles of the women in her family. As she searched beyond the traditional tasks of wife, mother and cook, her advertising sales career took her around the globe where she dined at first class restaurants entertaining her clients in California, Hawaii, Australia, NY, Florida and the Caribbean. But it wasn’t until her mother was diagnosed with dementia and the early stages of Alzheimer’s in 2006 and her father began courageously transitioning into the role of primary caretaker, that the author realized she had never learned to cook the homemade Italian food that her mother lovingly prepared for her family for over fifty years.
"When my mom was diagnosed with dementia and the early stages of Alzheimer's, although I had eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world, I realized I never learned to cook the meals my mother had prepared over the years and that they symbolize the love our family has shared for generations," Magro said. "Before it was too late, I wanted to gather these recipes and create this book, which includes the authentic meals that my family's life has evolved around for the past one hundred years or so."
Every 69 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. With a rapidly aging baby boomer population, Alzheimer’s will continue to impact millions of families. Barbara hopes to shine the spotlight on this fatal illness through her story and help others preserve family traditions and memories before they fade away. Recipes to Remember provides valuable resources and information on this devastating disease. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Recipes to Remember preserves the soul-satisfying food of an Italian-American family through recipes and stories around them.