Food = Love

Food.

We dream about it, talk about it, and even have television networks dedicated to it. Sweet, savory, or spicy, ethnic, vegan or fusion. Whatever our preference may be on a given day — we love it all!

But despite all the hours we spend consuming food, very few people actually enjoy cooking their own food.  Many will do whatever is necessary to avoid standing in front of the stove. It’s much easier to drive-thru, make a reservation, or order take-out.

Family Feasts

For just a moment though, let’s think about my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! It’s just around the corner and I’m already looking forward to it. But beyond the festive table settings, and dishes laden with delicious food (and the football game we will sleep through afterward), it’s all about the people we love seated around that table.

Thanksgiving Memories, 2017

 

My mother-in-law raised five children, so she cooked meals for a small army. By the time I arrived on the scene, everyone was grown and flown. But family meals were still a regular occurrence. I can’t say whether cooking was a favorite chore in the Manausa household, but it was always a group effort. Everyone pitched in, and like my own dad, my father-in-law did his share of the cooking!

Several family meals became my favorites. “Chuck’s Everyday Waffles” were extra-delicious because they were full of bacon, with a little bit of bacon grease blended into the batter. Truth be told, I’d be in big trouble if I ate them every day. And his fish fries were wonderful family gatherings too, with his own fresh catch on the dinner menu. “Macaroni Mess” was really what we youngsters called American Chop Suey, only there was bacon in that too. Because, as the saying goes . . . bacon makes everything better.

Memorable Meals

Ketchup was always on the table in the Manausa household, particularly if my husband was coming to dinner. (True story: at my bridal shower, my future mother-in-law presented me with half a case of Heinz Ketchup and a can of K2R Spot Remover. It was an ominous sign.) I never really knew if the condiment was meant to enhance the flavor or hide it.

My in-laws have since passed away, but I fondly remember those meals that often ended with a long evening of conversation and cards. It was a time for jokes and laughter, but also a time for sharing stories and giving and receiving advice. I treasured every moment, especially in my early years as a newlywed.

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Fast forward 37 years.

Cooking a meal takes planning and preparation, but I actually look forward to it now. I keep adding new skills, testing new gadgets, and trying new flavors. It’s a lot more fun now that it’s not  just another daily chore.

I enjoy cooking for myself when no one else is around, but most of all, I enjoy cooking for those I love. And thankfully, the ketchup usually stays in the pantry. ❤️

Morning Omelet with Bacon, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Spinach

 

 

 

What’s Cooking?

This time of year I find myself anxious for the change in seasons. For now, the dog days of summer are upon us. The weather has been typical for our area. August is known for its oppressive heat and humidity, punctuated with the occasional severe thunderstorm.

Our lawn is now crunchy underfoot, and we have to water the garden several times a day. It is still producing lots of tomatoes and banana peppers, but little else. The string beans were harvested before our vacation and our Delicata squash have been very small this year. Forty miles west of us, my brother’s garden is producing a bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes. He shared some with us last week. We will be enjoying Caprese salads for days to come! (No complaints here 😉.)

And Speaking of Cooking . . .

Since we are talking about food, I have decided to share more posts in the future about my love for cooking.

I’ve been cooking meals for my family for almost 37 years, but I never really enjoyed it. Cooking was a necessity and a chore, not something I looked forward to doing every day.

After a personal health scare a couple years ago,  my cardiologist recommended the Mediterranean Diet. Actually, it’s not a “diet” like you might think. It’s really a lifestyle! For me, it is all about taking better care of myself and my family, starting with the food we eat.

So, if you will indulge me, I will occasionally share what is on our dinner table, and also offer some tips and tricks I have learned along the way. Who knows? You may even discover that you like to cook too!

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Update on Mom

I wanted to give a quick progress report on my mom. I shared two weeks ago that she has a rare form of breast cancer called Paget’s Disease. Last Thursday my brother and I took her for her very first mammogram. We didn’t think it would be successful with her advanced dementia, but her doctor assured us they have experience treating similar patients.

I cannot say enough about the kind and compassionate nurses and technicians at the imaging center at the Winchester Medical Center. They are truly angels! They treated her with dignity and respect, and they were able to get clear test results.

The good news is that there was no calcification detected! The cancer is only on the surface, but will likely spread if not treated. She will have a partial mastectomy on September 5th, which if all goes well, will be an outpatient procedure. Thankfully, no additional treatment should be needed!

We would all greatly appreciate your prayers as we approach the surgery date, and for Mom’s post-surgical recovery.