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Capturing and Telling Your Stories Triggered by Food and Smell with Project STIR

Project STIR will take place in kitchens around the world capturing the stories of families passing on their heirloom recipes.
The heart of Project STIR is the story of how food can bring us together.  -Sarah Shotts

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 16.29.50photo by Sarah Shotts

Project Stir is near and dear to my heart and I’d like to share why:

I remember as a teenager, having extremely busy days at school and trudging home, worn out, with a test in my bag that came back full of red marks even though I had been sure and certain that I had done well on it. Also, my planner had new assignments and new tests pencilled in to its already bulging study schedule. I was tired, stressed and just plained tuckered out!

I'd open our back door, and walk in to the wonderful smell of mom's biscuits and my shoulders would immediately drop and my school stress would melt away, if only for a moment.

My bag and coat would slide off on to the floor as I rushed into the kitchen.  I'd grab the molasses and open up one of the still warm biscuits and a little puff of steam would escape and rise. I'd practically inhale the first biscuit, then take a second one along with a glass of milk to the kitchen table and sit with mom and she'd help put all of my school worries in perspective.  Afterwards, I'd climb the stairs to my room ready to tackle my homework with a new energy and motivation thanks to my mom’s encouragement and warm biscuits.

Do smells and foods invoke any memories in you?  I’m sure they do.  Smells are so nostalgic.

Whenever my husband makes himself a coffee with our Nespresso, I’m transported back to when I was an Au Pair in Switzerland, when I first arrived in Europe and had my first european coffee with the family’s Nespresso.


I’m preparing to make my yearly fruitcakes with my Nannie’s recipe.  Its spicy smell zooms me right back to Christmas nights as a kid with a leftover hot turkey sandwich and fruitcake for supper in front of a movie with my new toys.

Stories are important.  Stories are what enrich our lives and help us leave a legacy.

This is why, for me, stories are my favourite part of scrapbooking, I always tell a story, it could be two lines or two pages just as long as I can tell what’s in my heart.

Baker-boyScrapbooking helps us document those stories all the while getting our creative me time.

Smells are such a wonderful trigger for a treasure trove of story ideas.  It’s a wonderful idea to use the recipes and stories for foods that you remember most.


Sarah Shotts from Project STIR is doing an amazing thing with this!  She wants to travel the world and documenting families cooking together.  Older generations cooking and teaching younger ones how to make tradtional family recipes.  Caring on the tradition, passing down the recipe, continuing the stories and making new stories.

Sarah describes it like this:

The heart of Project STIR is the story of how food can bring us together.

Everyone has a family recipe story. (Even if your story is that you don’t have one.)

What's Project STIR?

Project STIR is a series of documentary films capturing the universal language of love in the family kitchen. The films will take place in kitchens around the world and will tell the stories of Abuelitas, Nans & Mothers passing on their heirloom recipes to the next generation.

By backing this project you are helping connect families all over the world. Backers will get an email invitation as each recipe video goes live. Because the films will be public you will be able to share the link with your family and friends so we can continue building community around the family recipe.

This isn’t just about funding a film. Our mission is to rekindle the family recipe. It is our hope that this project will inspire families to take the time to slow down and learn their own family’s heirloom recipes the world over. 

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Click here for more information.

What recipe, smell or food story would you wish Sarah could document? Share it in the comments and scrapbook that story soon!