We know how unique our sisterhood is because people often tell us that they wish they had a bond with their siblings like we do. This wasn’t always the case during our childhood. We are six years apart which made it difficult to grow a friendship during childhood being at such different stages in life. It wasn’t until we were adults that we even realized how lucky we were to have each other. When our parents divorced when Courtney was 29 and Whitney was 23, after 33 years of marriage, our world turned upside down. Our father came out as gay and our mother was beyond heartbroken. We were living together in a small apartment in LA and for the first time in our lives we really had to rely on each other through this extremely difficult transition.
Courtney & Whitney 1983
Yes, we did cry some but we also chose to channel our sorrow into something comforting and delicious. We started to cook! Just like our mother who was starting a catering company to support herself after the divorce, we also began our journey into cooking. We experimented with new recipes with foods we’d never tried as kids like hominy, leeks, and flank steak. We also started attempting some of our mother’s famous dishes from childhood while hosting holiday get-togethers in our tiny apartment. Once we built some confidence we started throwing huge parties, also in that tiny apartment, with platters of food that we’d spend weeks preparing for. When we reflect back on this time, it was magic! A passion was born that we didn’t know we had. And as the years went on, that passion only grew stronger as did our bond.
Whitney moved back to our hometown of Dallas, TX in 2019 while Courtney remained in LA with her family. When Covid shut down the world, we found ourselves, like many people, cooking up a storm. We were constantly calling each other with cooking questions or telling each other about the hits and misses of our menus. Being so far away from each other and not knowing when we would be able to see one another again, the constant communication allowed for our relationship to continue to thrive. Once again, during an extremely difficult situation, we cooked.
Our mother’s love language is cooking and feeding others. It has now become ours and is the hobby that bonds us. Even though we are 1,400 miles away from each other, this passion we have for cooking and entertaining is a constant that is a part of our everyday conversations.
Those everyday conversations are treasured but aren’t often filled with our deep appreciation for each other as sisters. With the upcoming celebration of National Sisters Day, we decided to create a new tradition of writing letters to each other to show our for one another. The letters were of course filled with admiration and love but also of apologies and honesty.
"As strange as this sounds, I think the greatest gift we’ve ever received in our lives was our parents getting divorced in 2005. It was the path to our healing as siblings which lead to our journey of cooking, entertaining and countless funny stories. That fracture in our family unfolded exactly how the universe intended, teaching us how to be the sisters we were always meant to be." - Courtney
"We’ve gotten each other through some of the most difficult times in our lives, like our parent’s divorce. But when I was going through IVF and was questioning my own sanity from all the hormones, you were the one I called because I knew there would be no unwanted questions or judgment… only support." - Whitney
We realized that this letter writing exercise allowed us to share thoughts and feelings we had not fully expressed to each other during our everyday chats. This is the importance of having a day dedicated to sisterhood. It's an opportunity to communicate deeper than a daily check in or a quick I love you at the end of a phone call.
Our hope is that we inspire sisters everywhere to reach out to their sister (biological or not) to reminisce on an old memory, laugh about a funny story from childhood, give an apology, share a favorite family recipe, or just tell her how grateful you are that she’s your sister.
There is nothing like having a sister to share in the joys of life and to rely on during the darkest of times. From milestones to mammograms, a sister is always there to stand by your side.
Happy National Siblings Day, Y'all
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