Introducing Food Memories

In my grandparents’ home there is a picture on the wall. In it, a three year old little girl tips a massive tin of flour over her head. Her face is covered by the bowl, and the subsequent afternoon filled with stirring, sifting, and baking South African milchika is similarly not photographed. Yet that afternoon, and those moments with my grandmother and sister are as clear in my mind as that picture.

British primatologist Richard Wrangham famously claimed that cooking is what makes us human. There are no primatologists on staff at Emma’s Torch, but we too believe this theory. Cooking is what makes us human. It is what brings us together. It is what simultaneously defines and transcends our communities.

In this blog you will find updates about Emma’s Torch, as well as recipes from immigrants, refugees, asylees, and other home cooks. These recipes are not simply a list of ingredients. Each is wrapped in memories.

We invite you to try these recipes, learn their stories, and create your own memories.

Happy Cooking!

P.S. Want to share your own food memories? Email us at



  • 4 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ lb butter
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • cinnamon and sugar


In a large bowl combine flour and ½ cup of sugar. In a pot melt together milk and butter. Set aside to cool. In another bowl prepare yeast by combining water, 1 tsp of sugar and yeast and mixing it together so that it proofs. Add all of these to the flour mixture Beat three eggs together and add to the mixture and stir until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Set aside in covered bowl for 3½ hours until doubled in bulk. Knock down dough and divide into eighths. Roll out each eighth, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar in center, roll like a jelly roll, and cut into 1½ inch sections. Place sections in greased muffin pans and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.