Mother’s Day Special: A Family Tied by Apron Strings

by Sarah Henry on May 11, 2012 · 16 comments

in gilt taste

Mother and daughter at home together in the kitchen. Photo: Courtesy Apron Strings

It’s been my experience as a journalist that there is a story worth recounting around every corner, if we just take the time to stop and listen.

Last May I set out on a road trip to Southern California to attend Camp Blogaway, largely as a show of support for my food writing friends Cheryl Sternman Rule of 5 Second Rule and Susan Russo of Food Blogga, who were conducting a panel at the writer retreat.

While there I ran into blogging buddies like Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules and Adair Seldon of Lentil Breakdown, and met new ones like Shefaly Ravula of Shef’s Kitchen, her sister Amee Meghani of Rabitt Food Rocks, and Stacy Spensley, then writing as Little Blue Hen.

I was struck by the generosity of this sub-genre of scribes, who willingly passed on what they’d learned in the blogosphere, whether technical tricks or SEO secrets or ways to make money — or just have more fun — with this modern mode of storytelling and recipe sharing.

In one breakout session, as we sat in a circle in the pine-scented San Bernardino Mountains, Donna Kelly sketched out in broad strokes how she and the baby she gave up for adoption when she was 16 found their way back to each other through food many years later.

It was unexpected. It was also a showstopper of a story. Enough with plugins and giveaways and blog stats: Here was a human telling a human tale.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I share the story of how Donna and her daughter Anne Tegtmeier, the voices behind the blog Apron Strings, became a family.

Take a moment and find their tale, in their own words, over at Gilt Taste.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Alisa Bowman May 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

I’ve always found this interesting, the birth child finding the birth parent. My brother was adopted and opted not to try to find his parents. I’m kind of glad because I feel like he’s my brother even if we are not related by blood. But I can still understand the quest.
Alisa Bowman´s last [type] ..6 Ways to Pick a Battle


Sarah Henry May 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

Alisa: I’ve heard from others who decided against finding their birth parents. I can understand both perspectives. Here’s another — on someone who decided to go for it and wish she hadn’t — from last Sunday’s NYTM lives column:


Dianne Jacob May 12, 2012 at 7:00 am

What a touching story. And to think it’s from food writers in our own community! It’s a wonderful discovery, Sarah.


Sarah Henry May 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

Thanks, DJ. The duo behind Apron Strings will be at BlogHer Food next month. So you can meet them in person there, if you haven’t already. Lovely ladies both.


Stacy Spensley May 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

“Showstopper” is absolutely the right word. I’m so glad you shared their beautiful story.

(And thanks for the shout-out!)
Stacy Spensley´s last [type] ..Sour Cream and Veggie Baked Pasta


Sarah Henry May 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

Thanks Stacy. So hope I get to see you this summer — somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. It would be grand to catch up on all you’ve got cooking since we met this time last year.


MyKidsEatSquid May 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

The story/interview was beautifully written. There’s a reason why the kitchen tends to be the most important room in the house.


Sarah Henry May 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

And also why when we talk about childhood (or family) memories and traditions food tends to focus prominently. These two show, too, that you can build that vocabulary at any stage in a relationship — even well into adulthood.


Casey@Good. Food. Stories. May 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

Sarah, congratulations on such a well-told, heartfelt piece. I met Anne and Donna at BlogHer Food in San Francisco a few years ago and was struck by their story. I’m so glad you’ve been able to bring it to a wider audience!
Casey@Good. Food. Stories.´s last [type] ..Neighborhood Guide: Des Moines


Sarah Henry May 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thanks, Casey. I was at that conference too — and didn’t meet any of you then — not surprising, since it was food blogger central. Happily, I know you all now.


Living Large May 14, 2012 at 3:59 am

Food can be a tie that binds us in many ways. What an interesting story.


Sarah Henry May 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Agreed, LL. So many childhood and family memories revolve around food, don’t they?


Donna Hull May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

What a lovely story. I had misty eyes by the time I finished reading it. Food really is a common denominator, especially for this mother and daughter.
Donna Hull´s last [type] ..Saturday‚Äôs scene: at the end of the road in Utah


Sarah Henry May 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

It’s a culinary mother and child reunion with everyone in their extended families benefiting from what these two whip up in the kitchen together.


merr May 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Beautiful, beautiful piece.


Sarah Henry May 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thanks, merr, for kind words. Glad you enjoyed it.


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