Some times I long for simpler days. I even get twinges of nostalgia for the pioneer times – neighbours had to work together, houses were small and easy to maintain, divorce was unheard of, children didn’t stare at an iPad all day long, and mealtime was a family affair.
I am embarrassed to admit that I actually like the shorter days of autumn. Seriously! During the long daylight hours of summer, I need to be outdoors from sunrise to sunset. When darkness hits about 6:00, I treasure evening in the cosiness of our home.
So, I’m totally NOT into labour-intensive food these days. Summertime is for playing, spending time outdoors, hanging out with friends, and traveling.
For many years it seems I have cooked for a small army – our kids, their friends, exchange students, and the people we lovingly refer to as “strays”. Now that we are a smaller family, leftovers have become part of our lives.
Even though my mind is arguing with me, some dishes don’t actually need to be topped with bubbly cheese in order to be delicious. Every moment that I was planning this recipe, chopping, browning, and assembling, I was trying to think of which wonderful cheese should be the crowning glory. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. NOT NECESSARY. This is amazing on its own.
Every once in a while something from my kitchen doesn’t turn out very well. A flop. Disaster. Epic failure. At those times, inevitably, one of my kids says, “You should have followed a recipe, Mom”. I did! It just wasn’t a very good recipe! But in reality, recipes are just guidelines. I seldom follow them exactly, but alter them to match the ingredients I have on hand, or according to my instinct of what will taste great.
I grew up eating “Chinese take-out” almost every Sunday after church. We picked up chow mein with extra rice packed in little white boxes and brought it to my grandparent’s house in Minneapolis. Life in the 1970’s meant it probably wasn’t very authentic Asian food, but it was tradition. And we loved it.
“There is power in numbers.” Google this phrase and you will see results covering everything from MLK speeches to Egyptian uprisings to Biblical references. In my little piece of the world, it mostly means FEED A LOT OF PEOPLE.
I married a farm boy. He grew up on a small dairy farm, did chores before school, and showed animals for 4H. He also prefers to eat like a farm boy – meat and potatoes.