Friday, May 08, 2015

Thinking About Food

 From the third book in the Kristin Lavransdatter series, The Cross, by Sigrid Undset:
"Hm. Your mother has else the name of one that looks narrowly to her goods, and is a most notable and thrifty housewife --"

"Not with food," said Naakkve eagerly. "To that every soul can bear witness, very carl and every woman that has served on our manor -- with food is mother the most free-handed woman. In that way she is no otherwise not than when we were rich folk -- never gladder than when she can set on her board some dainty dish -- and she purveys such full measure that each serving-man and woman, down to the swineherd and the bedesfold, get their share of the good things."

 I can relate to Kristin, Naakkve's mother, in this aspect. I, too, very much want to make sure all who are at my table have enough to eat and more. To set a dainty dish to delight the diners brings me great pleasure. The planning and the preparing, as well as the dining and dish work which follows is a joy to me.

Honestly, the cooking and cleaning are two great joys of mine. While others may be overwhelmed with such chores, and I admit, I am too at times, I really do get delight from it. I first learned this joy from my mom.

When I was growing up she babysat lots of kids. Every day for lunch she would fix these toddlers a hot meal.  Not peanut butter and jelly, or a sandwich, although sometimes those were fixed. But hot lunches, like frying them fish and hush puppies, macaroni and cheese (not from a box), spaghetti and garlic bread, corn and green beans. Often these weren't leftovers from our supper the night before, but meals she prepared for their lunch. My mom is now 80 and she still babysits, two toddlers and an infant. Yep, she still fixes these little toddlers a hot lunch. When asked why, she says because they need to eat good food.

It isn't only in the daily cooking of food for my family that brings me joy, but also the cooking for friends and family who visit. To try and prepare as much as possible from scratch, to set dainty dishes on the table, to think about what might bring my guests gastronomical delight is a fun puzzle I like to solve.

Come visit me sometime. Give me the joy of not only your company, but the joy of cooking and cleaning for you.

Time for lunch for the family. Today, much to the joy of my kids it isn't leftovers but steak fajitas with rice.