It is 1:25 am on Thanksgiving. I am tired, but having a hard time sleeping. It’s a lot easier to fall asleep if I’m actually IN BED, I know. I got sucked in by the world wide interweb, remembered that I set up this blog account, and was reminded that I have not written a darn thing yet. I kept waiting for inspiration, time, some big exciting event. Although there have been plenty of noteworthy moments over the weeks since I opened the account, I did not have the energy it takes to compose my thoughts into sentences fit to print. For now I just want to document some recent happenings for my own sake. I don’t really have any inspired words right now. Hopefully that will come another time.
So…Yesterday, Wednesday, was the last day of my sister in-law, Amy’s, five day visit with us. I invited my sister, Karen and her son, Weaver, over for brunch so she and Amy could see each other and catch up before Amy had to leave. I made a crustless quiche from a recipe that I found online. I had never tried the recipe before. Actually, I had never made ANY quiche before. I picked the recipe that had the fewest ingredients and instructions of all the other recipes I saw. It was actually very easy and turned out to be delicious. We also had some fruit, tea and coffee. Simple, but tasty and satisfying.
It was so nice to have family here and enjoy each others’ conversation and company.
I have been cooking more lately, making recipes from scratch. I have never really enjoyed cooking or baking very much, and would really very rarely make something from a recipe. I generally do a lot of pasta and jarred sauce, big salads for Michael and myself, frozen rice crust pizzas or gluten-free mac and cheese are staples in our house.
In the fall and winter I crave soups. Especially home-made soups. So I borrowed my mom’s vegetarian slow-cooker recipe book and picked a sweet potato and butternut squash soup to make. I even added a few of my own ingredients to spice it up a bit. It was delicious and I was surprised at how easy and stress free it was to make. So the next week I made a veggie soup without a recipe. I just went through the produce department at the grocery store, picked a bunch of things that I thought would be good together in a soup, and it worked beautifully!
I’m not sure why, but I am actually enjoying assembling ingredients and preparing them. I am finding satisfaction in the process AND the end result. In the past I would VERY occasionally be motivated to make something. And when I did, it was usually out of necessity, not because I actually wanted to do it. Like for a pot-luck dinner or something that required a dish to pass.
With the economy going the way that it is, I am looking to save money wherever I can. Cooking from scratch is less expensive rather than eating out or even buying prepared foods at the grocery store. That was part of my initial motivation to do it. It is also produces less waste. Less wrappers to throw in the garbage. That pleases me, as well.
The biggest surprise for me is the pleasure that I am getting from cooking and baking. I hope it continues to do so. I want my daughter to see me preparing meals for the family the way my mother and her mother did. I have such fond and nourishing memories of the women in the family working together in the kitchen.
We are vegetarians, and my daughter can not eat wheat. She is also an extremely picky eater. Most of the things I make do not interest her at all. However, she sees me making things, and even likes to help. Eventually her tastes will mature and she will be a more adventurous eater.
In the meantime, she sees me preparing food for our family with love. I talk to her about it. We have a running dialog of ideas, inspirations, jokes. I am hoping that these moments will stay with her for a lifetime, as my childhood memories of the kitchen and family have kept me company when I needed it.
I am growing weary quite quickly as I sit here, and will sign off for now. I am glad that I wrote at least a little something here to get the ball rolling. I have quite a bit to do in the morning. More nourishing family memories to be made around the Thanksgiving table.
I am so grateful.