Slow Food Ireland will celebrate Grandmothers’ Day this Sunday to draw attention to the value of older generations in preserving and passing on precious knowledge and skills at risk of being lost. In its second year, the event presents an opportunity for younger generations to discover and record this valuable wisdom, whether it be through exchanging knowledge on plants and herbs, cooking a meal, preserving the season’s produce or sharing stories.
Grandparents and grandchildren throughout the 32 counties of Ireland will be celebrating on Sunday. In Belfast, Slow Food North East will be highlighting near-forgotten skills such as bread-making, butter-churning and jam-making while local market vendors are developing Market Memories, a book celebrating the history of local markets and traditional Belfast dishes. In Waterford, the Four Rivers Convivium will hold workshops on gardening on a budget, baking with seaweed and the simple pleasure of letter writing. For the second year running, the East Cork Convivium will join with The Irish Examiner to run a competition for grandchildren to submit their favorite recipes to cook with their grandparents. And in Clare, children will gather to hear stories from grandparents and learn how to prepare traditional brown bread.
For the first time this year, grandparents and children across Europe will also be joining the celebrations through the work of Slow Food in the Canteen, a project to introduce good, clean and fair food into school canteens. In Romania, the Bran-moeciu Convivium’s canteen will feature a special menu of recipes from the children’s grandparents, while in Turda, grandmothers and children will take a trip to the local dairy and make cheese. In Hungary, several generations in the Tokaj Convivium will prepare traditional Hungarian dishes while in Macedonia, the school will host traditional recipe demonstrations and publish “My Granny’s Cookbook”, a collection of treasured recipes.
“Grandmothers’ Day was an idea born in recognition of the varied secrets held in the minds of grannies and granddads… which may need the gentle touch of a grandchild, son or daughter to unlock,” said Darina Allen who launched Grandmothers’ Day alongside Alice Waters during the 2008 Terra Madre meeting. “We invite grandparents all around the world to gather their grandchildren around them, have fun, show them how to bake a cake, catch a fish, and sow a seed. Grandparents are the guardians of inherited wisdom – this is a perfect opportunity to pass forgotten skills on to our grandchildren.”
Slow Food Ireland is extending the invitation to convivia, communities, grandparents and grandchildren the world over to join with them in making the day a truly international event.
or email Sarah Fleming