What does every 24-year-old do

Eating & drinking - A 24-year-old cooked every week with her Grisons grandmother for a year - the result is a great book

A 24-year-old cooked with her Grisons grandmother every week for a year - the result is a great book

We love our grandmothers and their kitchen - but do we know them too? The 24-year-old Lea Hürlimann set out to cook with her Nani. The result is a wonderful, nostalgic Swiss cookbook.

She calls her Nani, 87 years old, living in Felsberg, Canton of Graubünden, a self-confident, old lady, one who knows how to live a life. She admires Elsi Ragaz-Hemmis ’strength, says granddaughter Lea Hürlimann, 24 years old, Nani’s strength and her culinary art. "Actually, I admire a lot about her, she is my heroine."

Three years ago Lea was a student in Chur and Nani was familiar to her, as our grandmothers often are, but somehow also a stranger. "I went out to dinner with her once a week and felt so strange in her presence," says Lea. «I realized: very often we don't know much about this generation. And are not used to suddenly sitting alone with her at a table. " She knew her Nani. And yet she knew nothing about them.

Lea wanted to change that. Get to know your Nani better. But she would also fulfill the big dream that the old woman had cherished all her life: to write her own cookbook. And so Lea and Nani began not only to eat together, but also to cook. Process vegetables and fruits from their own garden. Pear bread, cabbage rolls, maluns. Suurbrate, rhubarb cake and rötali.

With vegetables and fruits fresh from the garden

What started with a small idea grew into a larger project. Katharina, Lea's best friend, helped. This is how the loving, self-designed, self-published cookbook «Nani. Two generations cook through the year ».

80 Graubünden classics and favorite dishes from Nani's recipe collection show the variety of their traditional cuisine with vegetables and fruits fresh from the garden, cooked, written down and photographed together every week for a year.

But this book is not just a collection of the most beautiful regional recipes, which - if we don't collect them and make them available to the next generations - might disappear at some point. It also tells the story of a love. Somebody between granddaughter and grandmother.

An intergenerational book against oblivion

“This book brought us together,” says Lea. «We used to be warm to each other, but also at a distance. Now we are very close and we are very honest with one another. " The many questions posed to each other, the hours in the kitchen opened up new worlds. Lea:

“When I'm old, I want to enjoy the same respect as you. I want to be seen even when I'm old. "

This book is also an intergenerational book. It makes the age visible, the grandmother. A person who is so important to many of us, and yet sometimes so invisible in society. The project, says Lea, gave her grandmother wings. Given her new life force. "She receives so much great feedback and when someone calls she always has something to say."

But the most important thing for her is personal contact. That Lea and Katharina keep coming to visit them, sit down at the table, talk and ask. And learn. Benefit from the wisdom of the Nani. “That more is sometimes more, for example. More oil! More salt! She always said. And she was right. "

«Nani. Two generations cook through the year. "
Elsi Ragaz-Hemmi, Lea Hürlimann & Katharina Wirth. CHF 54.-.
Can be ordered from specialist retailers or at www.cookingwithnani.ch.

The authors of the book introduce themselves on YouTube.