Today’s assignment is to write about food. Whenever I think about food, I get hungry.
In all seriousness though, often food has some sort of memory attached to it for me. Many of the memories I have as a child have to do with family eating together or watching someone else cook. I’d like to share some of those with you now.
When I went to my Grandma’s house as a child, there was always the smell of something cooking or baking. Freshly baked bread, cookies, or dumplings oh my. She had jars lined up on one of her small counters and I could tell you what each jar had in it. Sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, molasses cookies.
She must have smiled to herself as her grandchildren ran in and out of the kitchen throughout the day, reaching into a jar and then racing back out.
My Uncle Jack would always make “pizza pancakes” when we were kids. If you are wondering what that is, let me share this amazing breakfast item with you.
He would chop up bacon and sausage links into small pieces and then sprinkle them onto the ginourmous pizza sized pancake that he had poured onto the griddle. I can still remember his big smile as he madly chopped the ingredients and the sausage and bacon would be flying. We’d nibble the pieces that scattered in our direction.
He would then make us gasp in glee as he flipped the huge pancake and then use a pizza cutter to slice us each a piece. Our pizza pancake was complete only when he’d drench it with syrup and slide the plates perfectly across the counter to come to a stop in front of us. It was so much fun and delicious to boot.
I’m now an Aunt and hope that I’m sharing experiences with my little nieces and nephews like Uncle Jack did with me. Just a few weeks ago I miraculously flipped an omelet high in the air and back into the pan while me niece was watching.
Her eyes grew wide in awe and she yelled, “You did it! Everyone she did it!” I winked at her even though I had been holding my breath as I attempted this culinary feat. Maybe she will remember that when she’s 40, maybe she won’t, but it sure was fun to have that moment together.
The one tradition we did start that I know the kids will remember is called “Breakfast team.” Basically each person in the family has a role to play in order to get breakfast ready.
Currently, Jonah and I are the egg team. Jude and Uncle Chris are the toast team. Grandma and Idie are the meat team. Erin and Mo are the pancake team. Papa and Paul and anyone else who is a part of our family at the time is the set the table team. As family members are added we continue to find roles for everyone.
It’s a practical way to easily get breakfast ready for a large group but that isn’t why we started it.
More importantly it allows conversations to happen between family members. It allows us to teach the kids as they come alongside us and we come alongside them. There have been mishaps. There has been a lot of laughter. There have been a lot of really sweet moments when the kids tell each other how delicious the other’s food item is. It’s a good and precious time.
Food is a basic need that we all have, but it can also be something that builds life skills and relationship.
All kinds of creative ingredients can be added to make things tasty, but I’ve found that love and laughter add the best flavor.
What memories do you have related to food? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.