Sunday, February 10, 2013

Celebrations and Cooking


"I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give." ~Julia Child.


Every Sunday morning I do a special post on my Facebook page - Sunday morning coming down - where I tell what I'm seeing out my window and sometimes what's happening for me that day. This morning I said I needed to be cooking because I was fixing a birthday dinner for my son and his family. Then I listed some of the menu. Meatloaf, oven roasted potatoes, green beans, macaroni, broccoli salad, fruit salad, homemade rolls, bosenberry pie, and no-bake cookies. It does sound like a lot when I list it all out. But that's how country cooks do. They cook up everything they can think of that they might have in their kitchens.

Anyway one of my Facebook buddies asked if I'd write about how I got it all done before I went to church. So I thought, why not? Then I thought I don't really have much to say that would help anybody out. First off, it was one of those "no make-up and wear whatever you grab first out of the closet" kind of days. One of those "not going to make it in time for Sunday school" days. A "wish my church had early services" kind of days. A "hope I didn't forget to turn off the oven" kind of days.

But I suppose I did do some planning. I like birthdays and I always enjoyed cooking special meals for my kids when they were growing up. I let them pick their favorite foods and dessert. Now only one of my children lives close enough that we get to have a special birthday meal every year so I still let him pick the menu if he wants to. That's why we had meatloaf and pie and no-bake cookies. Those were his picks. As to the rest - the corn pudding because it's one of his favorite dishes; the oven potatoes because they're easy; the macaroni because the kids like it; the broccoli salad with bacon and sunflower seeds because I like it; the green beans because you have to have green beans after you canned them in the summer; the rolls because I've been making sourdough bread forever; fruit salad because well, everybody likes fruit salad; the bosenberry pie because I have bosenberries in the freezer. That was my menu planning. The shopping was just go buy out the grocery store so maybe you'll have everything you need.

I used to be able to whip up a meal like this and make it to Sunday school. But I'm getting older and I'm not as quick as I used to be. One of the older ladies at church told me this was going to happen. So Saturday night I made the cookies, got the meatloaf ready for the oven, and started the broccoli salad. The rest I did this a.m. by getting up a little earlier than usual and skipping breakfast except for a cup of tea and a piece of toast. I didn't read the sports page which is hard for me after my team wins a basketball game. I watch the game, of course, but then I want to read all about it too. Today I didn't even read the comics!! I cooked and it all turned out pretty good. The best thing is there are leftovers. That's good for my husband, because I don't plan to do any cooking tomorrow.

But we had a good time and plenty to eat. That's the way we do celebrations of life down here in the south. We get together and eat. And I cook the way my mama cooked. She used to fix my favorite dessert for my birthday too.

What do you do to celebrate a birthday? Any special birthday desserts for you or that you cook for your family?  

Remember you can get a chance to win a copy of Scent of Lilacs by leaving a comment here or on Jocie's blog before March. Each comment on a new post gets you a new entry. And I've really enjoyed hearing from you the last couple of weeks.

So thanks for reading.






12 comments:

  1. I'm what you might call a country cook as well or at least I used to be until I got dementia. How I enjoyed it. I would always ask the birthday boy or girl what they would like and still do with my husband. I can't cook like I once could, but we still make it special and have great memories. We love all types of desserts. It was fun reading this post today, reminded me of fun times in the past. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm sure you made some great meals for your kids and kept them smiling. The great thing about this day and time is that everything doesn't have to be homemade. Lots of delicious desserts out there already cooked waiting for us to enjoy. Always fun to hear from you here, Susan.

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  2. I enjoyed reading that; yes, that is what we do in the south. I suspect that's the way it is in most all areas. And don't we take any occasion to get together and have a big meal...for the fellowship :) I wish you would post your meat loaf recipe, I'm always looking for a different way to fix meat loaf.

    Hoping to win this book, really hoping!

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    1. Thanks, Loretta. Southerners do love their food. And sure, I'll post my meatloaf recipe. I'm the kind of cook who doesn't always look at recipes, but I did start out with one on this one. I think it must have at one time been on the oatmeal box - years ago. Check out my blog Wednesday or maybe next Sunday. Maybe I'll do a recipe blog on Sunday because somebody else wanted my chocolate pie recipe. I do like my meatloaf but it might not be for everybody.

      Got you entered in the drawing several times - once for every comment on a new post here or at Jocie's blog. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky three.

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  3. We do birthday celebrations the same way here in the West. The family gets together and the birthday boy or girl gets their favorite meal. My son's favorite dessert is a strawberry cake that was my mother's recipe that starts with cake on the bottom, vanilla pudding and cream cheese layer next, then fresh strawberries and finally whipped cream. Our other favorite thing besides eating together is playing games, not video games, but board games, like Rummikub, Scrabble, etc. and card games like Dutch Blitz. It is a nice way for all of us to get together and enjoy each other's company. Might as well enjoy it while we can, as the grandkids keep growing up and moving on.

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    1. That strawberry cake sounds delicious, Noreen. Yummmm!! But then I love strawberries. Isn't it great how you can buy fresh strawberries almost year round now? I love to play board games too, but have a hard time getting my family interested. Mom and my sisters and I used to play Scrabble when we'd get together for a day. And we liked playing cards too. Canasta mostly, but I love Rook. Dad liked it best. Well, after Bridge. I don't know what Rummikub is. Never heard of that.

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  4. Birthdays are the same in Indiana. The birthday boy or girl gets to pick their favorite meal and dessert. I love cooking and especially for those I love.
    We are scattered here and there across two states so the get togethers happen less frequently than we like. I find myself over cooking and am left with food to eat for at least two days after. A result I am sure of the fact that I have not adjusted to there being fewer of us as time goes on. Anyway fewer of us who take time from a busy schedule to attend.
    I sometimes wonder if busier is better when it takes away from family time. I personally prefer quality to quantity any day of the week,and family time is quality time in my eye.
    Do you suppose that is due to the fact that I am getting older?

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    1. It is so easy to overcook, Martha. I nearly always do because I'm like you and used to have more eaters at our dinners. But those dinners were fun and kept our family connected. I miss having those times with two of my kids who moved too far away for frequent visits home. They do come visit, but not the way I used to go home to visit my mom or we went to see my mother-in-law. Family time is definitely quality time.

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  5. We are all scattered but do have a dau (mentally challenged) that lives with me and one dau across the street with her hubby and younger son. We mainly get together for dear son in laws b'day. We are sooo blessed to have him. He loved Oatmeal with raisin cookies so I make him some no store bought ones. Due to joint probs I am not able to stand in kitchen like I use to so we all go out to a special place that we know he really likes. Yes what cooking I do it is southern. Fresh collards waiting for me now. God bless all who are reading this. Would love to win this book. Love your writing. Patti in VA pag1936@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Patti. So glad you chimed in with your family celebrations. I love oatmeal raisin cookies too. Have you ever made them like brownies? I do my cookie recipe that way sometime when I'm in a hurry. I also like to add some dried cranberries in with the raisins. You know it doesn't really matter where a family gets together. It's the taking time to make a birthday special that matters.

      Thanks so much for reading my books. I've got you entered in the drawing.

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  6. Growing up my mom always fixed my favorites, chicken & dumplings & coconut cream pie for dessert, now that I'd be doing the cooking we get to pick what restaurant we go out to. I try hard to spend Mother's Day & my mom's birthday with her even though we are in 2 different states. Her birthday is in May so that works out. Funny how traditions change as we get older. Your menu sounded so good. My husband would love the meatloaf! Have a blessed week...Linda

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    1. Yumm, Linda. I would love your growing up birthday supper. Well, the chicken & dumplings. My husband would love the coconut cream pie. It's so good that you take time to make your mother's birthday and Mom's Day special. It's hard when we don't live close enough to see family members often, but thank goodness for telephones and e-mails. I think about how different things were in the pioneer days. When a child left home to go to the frontier, you might never hear from them again.

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