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Commentary: Let’s get cooking on a great recipe for 2021

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This year, home for the holidays has never sounded better. 

Since I have been staying home more, I’ve been working on homemade gifts for my children. 

With both of our sons living out of state, they had asked for recipes for some of their favorite items. I came up with the idea of creating a cookbook for them to have recipes from their nana, grandma, aunt and friends. 

What started as a gift for them transcended into a gift for me. 

Walking down memory lane, recalling Sunday dinner traditions, looking through cookbooks and remembering special meals together brought moments of tears.

Where has time gone? It was only yesterday that my kids were babies and we were baking cookies and making homemade gifts together. 

I think that as we get older, we get nostalgic and appreciate more of those favorite meals we enjoyed as children or the rituals that were part of our family culture. 

During Advent, my memories go to Sunday dinners, during which each child was assigned a day to light a candle. As I wrote in the cookbook, Sunday’s traditional pot roast was a favorite during the winter. 

One of my favorite cookbooks is “The Second Most Valuable Book You’ll Ever Need.” It is filled with recipes from the women of Brentwood United Methodist Church. First printed in 1992 and then again in 1997, there is now a part two, “Recipes From the Heart.” 

Nestled within the pages of “The Second Most Valuable Book You’ll Ever Need” is a golden nugget written by Linda Maynard that was taken from “Pass It On: Cookbook of Woodbine Methodist.” I’ve shared it with my children, and it’s going to become my new tradition for wedding showers. 

Entitled “Recipe for Making a Home,” it reads like this:

“Take 1 cup friendship, add 1 cup thoughtfulness. Mix well with a pinch of powder tenderness, lightly beaten into a bowl of loyalty to which has been added 1 cup of faith, 1 cup of hope and 1 cup charity. Be sure to add a teaspoon of gaiety that sings and the ability to laugh at the little things. Moisten with sudden tears and heartfelt sympathy. Bake in a good-natured pan, serve often.”

Today, I pass this on to you: I hope you cook up a wonderful new year and may your home be full of peace, hope, joy and love in 2021.

Jodi Rall is a Brentwood resident and writer. She can be reached at

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