Shared Tastes (and smells!) began by capturing and sharing recipes from a gathering of mom friends (2011). It took on another role after my grandmother’s 2013 passing. Today, it reflects California’s food culture and relationships forged through food. It’s focusing on how our food production and eating choices contribute to habitat sustainability on the blue space marble we call home.

Preserving Family Traditions Through Food

Betty in her kitchen with granddaughters


Lisa & her mom

This recipe blog snapshots a family story of German/Polish American immigrants who initially settled in Wisconsin, then moved to California after WWII.

In 2013, my Grandma passed away at the age of ninety-two. After that, my mother and I began a project to publish her recipes (and those from other family members) so future generations would have access to them. (Grandma’s ‘historic’ recipes are noted and include family photos.)

I always hear my grandmother’s voice when I follow her recipes or use a utensil that came from her kitchen. – Lisa Redfern

Shared Tastes Evolution

As eating habits change, Shared Tastes continues with multicultural influences and contemporary, healthful food alternatives.

When updating this page (November 2020) as we’re approaching Thanksgiving, in the middle of a pandemic, after a tumultuous and exhausting presidential election when our everyday lives look like nothing we’ve known before, while the survival of humanity stands at the precipice of climate breakdown, I’m thinking deeply about food and how it is one thing all humans have in common.

Reducing meat consumption, learning where our food comes from (how far), and how it’s produced are ways we can make educated choices that, if combined with thousands – or billions! – of people doing the same thing, will drive market forces to behave responsibly.

Perhaps the ultimate SARS-CoV-2 silver lining will be a global reckoning that results in an altered mindset that we MUST work together if we (as my mom says) ‘want to hang around for a while.’

With every bite, the food we eat inspires us, triggers memories, connects us, and builds the future.

Lisa Redfern is an author, artist, and photographer.

Lisa’s Other Website & Blogs

My friends & family.

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