Food For Thought

Image

Yes I grew up in the South, yes I am a southern girl by the grace of God but I can promise you my culinary palette is not southern by any means. My dad, while southern born, was raised in New Jersey with a Yankee dad and Southern mom. My mom, an adventurous southerner belle. So add one tour of duty in Vietnam, three kids in three years and you have nothing close to normal!

Take regular week night meals for example, most people grew up eating a meat, one to two veggies, bread and maybe dessert. Me? My mom and dad are AMAZING cooks, so one night we’d have Hungarian goulash the next night Lo Mein then Swedish meatballs followed by Chile Rellenos ending with Meatloaf. That truly was a typical week in my house. (Don’t even get me started on my paternal grandfather’s specialty, Spanish Dish. YUM!!) So you can understand my intrigue with the traditional “meat & three” meal served by my mother-in-law the first time I ate with them. (Silly me, I thought she cooked different!)

Holiday meals in my family? Amazing! Since both sets of grandparents lived within an hour of each other we’d get two feasts per holiday. At Granny’s we’d have a straight up traditional southern meal: turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, Le Sueur peas, green beans, cranberry sauce and hot yeast rolls. At Mom Weber’s house? Yankee all the way: standing rib roast with au jus, stuffing, creamed onions, mashed rutabagas and carrots, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. But the best holidays occurred once we got to be adults and both families would come to my parents’ house where we’d mix both Southern and Yankee. It was the BEST!

Once I married, I began to realize how blessed I was to grow up with parents who can best be described as culinary adventurist. Me? Didn’t really rub off on me…. I’m cooking more and getting better in the kitchen but let’s be honest, I still have a long way to go!!

Advertisements

We Sit In A Circle

Image

(Painting by Joan Breckwoldt)

We sit in a circle. The circle changes from week to week but for the most part it’s the same group. Some weeks there are tears, some weeks there is laughter, every week there is acceptance. We are as different as women can be on the outside. We go to different churches, our kids are in different schools, our ages are as varied as our incomes but we always find common ground in Christ. Everything from issues with kids to marital questions to how do I find myself in all the chaos. I LOVE the fact that this group has gotten to know me, and loves me anyway! Can I get an AMEN?!?!?

You would think when you put this many women in a room, there would be at least one cat fight every now and then… especially considering this group is made up of everything from southern belles to Yankees to military brats with a Midwesterner thrown in just for good measure. But we’re pretty boring people… there has yet to be a single cat fight!! However, I do love it when as I am saying something I see one of the other gals start doing the “I’ve got something to say” squirm because I know that like it or not, I’m about to hear the truth y’all!

What it all boils down to is that. THE TRUTH. Seriously, how often do you have people speak the truth to you? When you mention a spat with your husband friends say things like “poor you” and “it will all work out.” But not these gals. Nope, they look you square in the eye and say “you realize you were wrong don’t you? Now what are you going to do about it?” There’s no protecting of feelings in this group because when we signed up earlier this year, we signed up for the truth. And good or bad, that’s just what we‘ve got!!