Monday, February 8, 2021

In the Kitchen


Last week's prompt for #52Ancestors was "In the Kitchen". It seems appropriate that this was my memory shared three years ago. I entered this photograph of me and my grandmother, Rose (Corcoran) Doherty in her kitchen in the RootsTech photography contest. I didn't win but that was ok - I wanted to share this piece of my family history. I adore this picture because my grandmother looks so happy. 

The kitchen was her domain and she was quite a baker. She is known for her chocolate chip cookies and my personal favorite, her yellow cake with the homemade royal icing. She also made homemade bread each day for my grandfather. She did cheat a little with her pies - using store bought crust but made the apple pie filling (a trick I use today). And of course she made Irish soda bread, a recipe passed down from her mother. The recipe has been changed up slightly to allow for a more bite size proportion. Readers may recall my family's famous Irish soda bread recipe being shared each year around St. Patrick's Day. 

My grandmother was one of the main reasons why I got so interested in genealogy. She died when I was a little girl and I didn't really know anything about the family at that time. I eventually would learn more as the family would talk about their stories of visiting Dillonstown, County Louth, Ireland (where her father Thomas James Corcoran was born) as well as Prince Edward Island, Canada (where her mother Bridget Connolly was born). I was hooked as I found out more and more on her and my grandfather. I honor her memory each day as I add a new person on the family tree and enjoy baking the soda bread each St. Patrick's Day. 

Rose Alice Corcoran was born on 18 Jun 1914 in Long Island City, Queens, New York City. She was one of 7 children. She was born in NYC shortly after my great grandparents, Thomas and Bridget, came back to the USA after living in Prince Edward Island for a few years. She was a bus girl in NYC. That is likely how she met my grandfather, who was working at Bickford's in Manhattan. I always wonder if they worked in the same restaurant. My grandmother served as a witness for her future husband's naturalization petition in 1939. She married my grandfather, Michael Joseph Doherty, on August 2, 1941 at St Mary's Church in Long Island City, Queens. She had five children, including my father. She held down the homestead with a young baby while my grandfather served during World War II. She was a homemaker the rest of her life and was a proud Bingo player at her local church.  

What family recipes were passed down in your family? Do you have pictures of any ancestors in the kitchen?


  1. My great grandfather, from Ireland, was a Baker in New York City. However, I have no recipes from him. Nice post.

  2. The loving look in your grandmother's eyes tells the whole story! A delightful photo and wonderful post.

  3. The only image of my Grandmother Sadie in the kitchen I carry in my heart. It is a very special memory. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  4. Food and cooking has always been a huge part of my family. For holidays, we would go to my grandma's house and gather in her basement; the go-to room for entertainment. I always remember walking in the house and just smelling all the delicious food cooking upstairs and downstairs. We have many photos of gatherings in that basement. My grandma was moved into a nursing home facility around 2013 and then passed in 2015. What I wouldn't give to be able to have one more family gathering in that basement.

  5. What a lovely kitchen memory. I live in Sunnyside, right next to Long Island City, so it was nice to read about your mother's childhood there. And many thanks for the Irish Soda Bread recipe!

    1. You're welcome! If you decide to make the Irish soda bread, let me know what you think.

  6. A lovely tribute to,your grandmother that in many respects echoed my own “kitchen” memories of my mother in the 1950’s - both bakers and homemakers