MMS staff’s favorite family recipes & traditions


Jenna Inmon, Samantha Coburn, and Logan Gray, Staff Writers

As the weather is changing and families are gathering, the Mayfield Middle School staff members have reminisced about their favorite family recipes and how memories are attached to them.

Have you ever wondered why when you eat a certain food you remember a fond memory of family and friends? According to Southern Living, “food can be linked to both emotion and smell, which may explain why food seems to be a priority in our memories.” So when you have some of grandma’s pumpkin pie or your mom’s homemade spaghetti, you feel that warm feeling of family and great memories.

Mrs. DeBaltzo agrees and elaborates on what her homemade pasta means to her. “My sisters and I were always in the kitchen with our Grandmother…I think of her every time I take it out of the box. I feel like she is with me looking over my shoulder making sure I’m doing it right.”

Mrs. DeBaltzo rolling out homemade pasta

On Wednesday, October 18th, Mrs. Debaltzo joined Mr. Reilly’s health class to teach them how to create her homemade pasta.  She said, “growing up food was super important in my family. We always had some type of homemade pasta for every holiday.”

A favorite memory of cooking with her family is with her grandma. She says, “I have some of the best memories cooking with her. She would yell at us if we did something wrong but then always follow up with a kiss on the forehead telling us what a good job we were doing. I still to this day have never made lasagna with boxed noodles…I use the same machine that we used growing up.”

Mrs. Shaffer’s sweet bread

Eighth grade Language Arts teacher Emily Shaffer loves having sweet bread on Thanksgiving because it takes her back to being a kid. Mrs. Shaffer reflects, “The smell of the yeast and the taste of the sugary topping just takes me back to my childhood. It brings back great memories of past holidays and still brings us together each year! It’s been passed down through the generations in our family so I love the tradition I’m able to carry on when I make it each year.”

Mrs. Trentanelli, a social studies teacher on team Maverick, thinks about how her special food makes her feel. “Ferrara’s pizza with the sauce and little sprinkle cheese on Christmas. This food makes me feel like I’m at my grandparents’ house, they have since passed away. So there’s something about the smell of it and when it’s in my car. It makes me feel that my grandma and grandpa are with me in their kitchen like a little kid again.”

Mrs. Dodd, the social studies teacher on the 7th grade Warrior team, loves her grandma’s fried dough that she would make around the holidays, especially Christmas Eve. When Mrs. Dodd smells this fried dough, it brings back memories. A donut shop doesn’t elicit these memories, as her homemade version is more savory than sweet.

Our journalism staff also has some food-based traditions of our own. F

Wildcat Voice staff writer, Logan Gray notes, “My family loves spending time together; we also like delicious food. During the summer my family has two annual reunions at my grandparents’ house and mine. At my grandparents, my grandpa dusts off the grill and starts cooking. Ribs and chicken are on the grill as my uncle helps him. We love to have greens, baked beans, and mashed potatoes.”


Also, Wildcat Voice staff writer Jenna Inmon has great memories connected to jello. She comments, “A holiday or special occasion isn’t right until I have some of my grandma’s jello. It is a mix of the jello flavors cut into cubes and then mixed in with  Cool Whip. Although it is not my favorite food and nothing fancy, it does have a special space in my heart. When me or my sisters had surgery or were sick, the jello was always there to comfort us. It brings me joy to eat and reminds me of special memories with my grandma. Specifically, when I got my teeth pulled and put under anesthetic I was very emotional and throwing tantrums, but my grandma calmed me down and I ate some jello and felt much better. I can’t picture a Thanksgiving without it.”

Other staff members holiday favorites include Mrs. Zanella loving pizzelles because it reminds her of her grandmother. Mrs. Potts-Peteritis loves green bean casserole, and Madame Vouk enjoys Slovenian potica. Mrs. Davis thinks about her mom whenever she tastes lemon bars.

As the holiday season draws near, perhaps you’ll encounter that special taste or smell that takes you back to a favorite memory.