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Grandmother’s Day: What We Can Learn From Grandmas

Grandmother’s Day: What We Can Learn From Grandmas

In an effort to preserve the knowledge and skills of grandparents, famous Irish chef Darina Allen launched Slow Food International Grandmother’s Day, to be celebrated every April 25th.

Is Grandmother’s Day just a ploy to persuade people to buy grandmothers presents every year?

“No, the goal is to create a fraternity of grandmothers right around the globe. The idea is that grandmothers gather their grandchildren and pass on the abilities these elders have within. Many of these are forgotten skills: how to garden, how to cook, how to fish. The idea is for grandmothers to exchange knowledge and strengthen bonds with their grandchildren.”

How did you think up the idea?

“My friend Alice Waters [a famous Chez Panisse chef] and I came up with the idea together. She’s a wannabe grandmother and I’m a grandmother six times over. I realized how important it is for us to pass on our cooking and growing skills.”

What do grandmothers know that others don’t?

“A whole generation has never seen their mothers cook in the kitchen because nowadays in most households, both partners work, and many schools no longer teach cooking or home economics. Most grandmothers still have these important life skills. They still know how to cook, sew, sow seeds, keep chickens.”

Do you think kids will listen to their grandmothers about this kind of stuff?

“Grandmothers have an extraordinary power and influence over kids, and so we can really make a difference. Of course, it depends how close the relationship is, but kids absolutely love to cook, peel, mix, grate, chop–anything from pancakes to apple pies. In my experience, children who are involved in sowing seeds and growing vegetables will eat absolutely everything they grow, even if they shivered at the thought before.”

What exactly will change if grandmothers pass on their knowledge?

“There is a drastic deterioration in the quality of food people eat these days. When you know how to cook, you can whip up a meal for family and friends at a moment’s notice using fresh, seasonal ingredients. It’s less expensive, more nutritious, more delicious. Grandmothers can also teach the joy of sitting down around the kitchen table again.”

And what about the grandfathers?

“We want grandfathers to participate and especially teach grandchildren how to fish and garden.”

Read more: Caregiving, Children, Diet & Nutrition, Family, Food, General Health, Health, Home, Nature, ,

By Sanra Ritten, Ode Magazine

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Megan, selected from The Intelligent Optimist

Ode, the magazine for Intelligent Optimists, is an international independent journal that publishes positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better.


+ add your own
3:37AM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

12:36AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012


12:31AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Great article. Thanks.

5:17AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:36PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011


1:02PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Thank you

11:21AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Thank you.

6:25PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

onone could ever take her place god bless her soul....

12:11AM PDT on Sep 6, 2010


2:34AM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

my grandma was the only one who could teach me how to speak my dialect with ease.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Thanks so much for sharing! Good post!

Good article, thanks for sharing.

how 'bout floss with different subjects instead of just different flavors? you know, like "math min…


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