The Ritual

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Ritual

Lantern light glinted on stainless steel as the robed figures entered the kitchen. These figures had been my female relatives earlier that day, but now they were keepers of sacred knowledge.

“Flour,” I began.

“3 cups,” they chanted. I added it to the bowl.



I recited the ingredients my mother had taught me, and the group relayed the amounts. Fifteen minutes later, it was done. The secret of Great-Grandma Nelly’s chocolate cake had passed to another family member.

Years later, when I found the exact recipe in one of Nelly’s old cooking magazines, I didn’t say a word.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A wise silence. Nobody likes a smart-arse


  2. Bill says:

    The secrets of the kitchen stay in the kitchen. Nice one, David.


  3. James McEwan says:

    I have experience how old family recipes never turn out the way Gran done them. I put it down to how much the ingredients have possible changed, or was it just me? Great story that reminds me of some delicious cakes.


  4. I think Anthony Bourdain would have really liked this. 🙂


  5. granonine says:

    I love that–all the ritual and secrecy for a recipe published in an old magazine 🙂


  6. Dear David,

    No one can take a story and flip it on its ear like you. Loved this ritual passing of the chocolate cake recipe. You made me laugh out loud.




  7. msjadeli says:

    What a cute and human-hearted story.


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