Friday, September 25, 2009

What's For Dinner

Since my daughter and granddaughter have moved back in, I have fallen back into Homemaker mode. During the last few years of solo living in retirement, I had drifted out of the kitchen. Now I am back shopping at Farmer’s Markets and clipping coupons and making lists and planning menus and trying to make our household meals tasty and healthy. These are crucial years for little Ember to learn food skills from table manners to new tastes. I am abandoning the habit of eating off a tray and watching the news on TV and relocating to the dining room. It is really fun to involve Ember. She helps with preparation, table setting, clearing and washing dishes. It takes a little longer but I hope she is learning lifelong skills and habits. Some of my fondest memories of my mother and grandmother are of times spent together in the kitchen.

I cooked three meals a day for a family of six for twenty years so I have pretty much worked my way through my shelf of cookbooks. Right now I am interested in new ideas for meals that are not only healthy but made from locally grown foods. Quick to fix counts for quite a bit as well. Of course, for myself, these meals are meat free although Windy and Ember eat chicken and fish so sometimes that is added for them.

I enjoy trying recipes or suggestions from friends so I did sign up for an e-mail recipe exchange. I was stunned by the overwhelmingly negative response from friends I contacted. Some “don’t cook” or “don’t do recipes” or “have other interests” or are “too busy” or “hate chain letters” or want to be “taken off the list.” Okay, okay. I get it. Back to cookbooks and magazines for ideas and inspiration. I won’t ask again.

But I think of a pasta salad recipe I have used for years. My kids still remember the first time they ate it and the friend who gave us the recipe when they were little. It’s “Ann’s Vermicelli Salad.” Another family favorite is “Keppy’s Bread Pudding” which dates back to the 1960’s. The children themselves have contributed the child-friendly “Banana Graham Cracker Pudding” to PTA and club cookbooks over the years.

When the kids moved me out here, one of the things they were looking forward to was meals around the antique dining room table. All of us feel that breaking bread together is an essential part of family. And we have always all been involved in planning menus, shopping, preparing the food, cooking/baking, cleaning up and saving favorite recipes to use again.


Blogger monica said...

I whole heartedly agree with that sentiment and am surprised as well that people don't want to share recipes.

3:17 PM  

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