Sunshine in Darkness
by susan dayley in ,

Today I read this little story. It is one of finding hope where there is none. Finding beauty amid the stones of prison. Finding companionship and unity in a world torn apart. Finding love when surrounded by hate.

During the Holocaust, some Jewish women who were interned in Terezin compiled a cookbook from memory. The Terezin prisoners recalled and wrote down their recipes for chocolate torte, breast of goose, plum strudel, and other traditional dishes while surviving on potato scraps. Their effort was a kind of spiritual revolt, an act of resistance against brutality, calling to mind the everyday world they had known and presided over. These half-forgotten recipes, scribbled on scraps of paper, became the texts that helped them to transcend their situation. Decades later, their book found its way to the daughter of one of the authors who had died in the camps. The book was published as In Memory's Kitchen in 1996 by Cara de Silva.

When times seem dark, it is imperative, especially for homemakers, that we bring sunlight in. Create cookbooks from memory. Or as my mother did, candy from frosting and oatmeal. My children still remember the hikes and picnics, the blanket forts, the special cake we made on rainy days, the bedtime ritual of my reading great books to them, the hummus and chips shared in the car on trips, and model rockets launched in parks. It's not what we don't have, but that we spend time together.

Share sunshine. Share your ideas.


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