Food. We eat it often and rely upon it to give us fuel as we soldier through our days. We certainly need it to survive, but I think it is so much more complex than mere sustenance. I view meals as an extension of our relationships. Sharing meals nourishes our body and our souls. Farming has solidified that belief.
It seems that meals have gotten lost somewhere along the way. Everyone has gotten so “busy” that they have forgotten how to slow down for a moment to pay attention to, what should be, one of the day’s highlights. Meal preparation has sadly gotten lost in the chaos as well.
It has always been important to me to cook for my family. Sure, there were blurred years of little league and play practices where the meals were gulped as the kids ran out the door, but it still made my heart happy to see that licked-clean plate as they yelled over their shoulder, “thanks for dinner mom”. Meals didn’t have to be Michelin star worthy; they just had to be.
One of my favorite memories was a Saturday night when the kids were adolescents and teens. All but the youngest had plans for the evening. The meal prep was underway when one by one each decided that staying home for dinner and hanging with the “rents” seemed like more fun than the sleepover or high school party. As I sat at the table during dinner, slightly teary-eyed, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “this is my best Saturday night ever!”. The kids still tease me about that one.
So the tradition carries on today, but now I access to the best ingredients! No, I am no longer cooking for a crew of seven, but I still view meal preparation as a sign of love. Does that sound old fashioned? If so, I don’t really care. Does it sound sexist? No, because I know plenty of men who find happiness preparing meals for their loved ones…...Steve just happens to be a lousy cook.
Every night when we head back into the house after doing the final evening chores, we get whacked with the delicious smell of dinner. It is the scent of love. Even better is that savory hint of the meal will linger in the air until bedtime. My house seems to always carry a slight aroma of something delicious. It smells safe. It smells like home.
It is not surprising that my children and now my grandchildren look forward to coming to visit because they know love will be served at every meal. Last weekend my 3-year-old granddaughter, upon waking, approached me with sleepy eyes and asked, “Mormor, are you going to make me something good to eat?”
Yep, pretty much my best Saturday morning ever.