October 22, 2014

and a thought for kith and kin...

Life itself can't give you Joy
Unless you really will it.
Life just gives you time and space--
It's up to you to fill it.

It was my son's birthday yesterday.  He is notoriously social media shy so I always have to promise to not single him out in a post, but he wasn't averse to a home cooked meal last night!  So I thought I'd share a little about his birthday dinner requests.  I wasn't surprised by any of them...all comfort foods my family has loved for years--meatloaf swirls (meatloaf filled with dressing cubes, onions, peppers and cheese and rolled like a jelly roll), "company" mashed potatoes (with cream cheese and sour cream substituting for the milk), broccoli/cheese casserole, homemade coleslaw and iced tea.  Oh yum!  And so worth it, even if it was an hour of putzing in the kitchen after work.

And where, you might ask, did these delicious recipes come from?  None other than my beloved church and community cookbooks--my go-to source for all things delicious for special family meals. Are they low fat, carb conscious and healthy?  Probably not.  But they deliver on taste time after time and sometimes...you just need to live a little dangerously.  I even used regular sour cream and cream cheese...birthdays are no time for low fat versions!

The two books I used last night bring back such lovely memories from the past--one is from the church where my children grew up, and flipping through the pages calls to mind the lovely women who taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, sang in the choir and prepared countless cakes for funerals and church gatherings.

Here's a poem nestled in between the recipes for broccoli cheese bread and herb bread:

Take a little dash of water cold,
and a little leaven of prayer,
A little bit of sunshine gold
Dissolved in the morning air.
Add to your meal some merriment,
And a thought for kith and kin,
And then, as your prize ingredient,
Add plenty of work thrown in.
But spice it with the essence of love,
And a little whiff of play,
Let a wise old Book a glance above
Complete a happy day.

Dessert recipes are particularly delicious, and since it is a church cookbook it's not surprising to find recipes for Bible Cake (I c. Judges 5:25, 2 c. Jeremiah 6:20...) and since South Dakota was settled by Scandinavians lots and lots of coffee cake and kringle recipes pepper the pages!

The second book was the Castlewood (SD) community cookbook, issued in commemoration of South Dakota's centennial year of 1989.  I remember that year fondly--my dad and my two oldest sons, who were 4 and 5 at the time, got to travel part of the way across the state in a covered wagon built by a family friend.  What an adventure!  (and oops, maybe I've just shared my son's picture??!)

And what a cookbook--filled not only with wonderful recipes and amazing desserts (out of the world bars, good and easy bars, gold brick bars, rhubarb bars, dream bars...) but also with all sorts of suggestions for how to cook and preserve garden bounty. Pioneer ancestors left their stamp with offerings like kloothus pop, rur-ruma, pudderaine and ponhaws.  And you can't overlook regional favorites like beef liver, baked pheasant, fried rabbit, roast prairie chicken and blizzard spaghetti...ah yes, South Dakota memories!

The meal was topped off by a homemade pumpkin pie, courtesy of his sweet girlfriend.  It was a true labor of love, because when I say "homemade" I mean from scratch...pie crust AND pie filling!  And it was so good...a delicious way to finish a celebratory meal and say I love you at the same time. And love you we do, my wonderful son!

Happy Wednesday~~let's have a wonderful day!

No comments:

Post a Comment