So, when I read the prompt over here, I thought, "Oh, no, Paula, you are not off to a good start."
You see, the list goes up on Tuesday, and I posted several days after that. Determined to do better this week, I promptly become stumped, thinking, "I've got nothing," but then I began to wander through everyone else's lists, and the memories came flooding in...
My Baba (grandmother) guarded her kitchen with a righteous fierceness...no one messed with her cooking. As a result, my mother, began her wedded life barely knowing how to boil water. She, in turn, guarded her kitchen as well, and if life hadn't interrupted, I'd probably have married with the same limitations.
However, being married to a milkman, who worke many a second and sometimes third job as well, and trying to raise the 4 of us, mom reluctantly entered the work force. She'd leave explicit instructions as to how to cook the side dishes, with strict emphasis on "wake up your father when it's time to start the meat." That meat was far too expensive to trust to the likes of me.
Dad, however, saw things very differently. Up at two, he saw no reason to pull himself up off the couch. Squinting open one eye, he growled, "You have a brain in your head and your mother has a whole shelf of cookbooks. Go figure it out." You can insert several swear words into the preceeding sentence.
So, figure it out, I did. And, when mom said, "Eddie, the meat is wonderful;" he simply smiled and said, "Thank you." I knew better to own up to my part in this, and the gig went on for years."
I can cook, and I can do it well, but I don't enjoy it, but using that same brain my father so frequently reminded me that I had, I married a man who loves to cook. From bread baking to smoking meats to Christmas cookies, he does it all, and does it well!
Over the course of raising our own three, we developed our own traditions...
1. Christmas Day dinner is steak on the grill whenever we're ready to eat. I quickly realized that hours of back breaking huge meals held no appeal to our young kids. So, we relax, take it easy, and eat when we get hungry.
2. Easter morning brings homemade Babka, a Polish Easter bread...yumminess.
3. Every holiday involves cookies of all sorts, especially pitzelles. Heart attack in a cookie, but, oh my!
4. Lent means a trip to an area Eastern rite Catholic church each Friday... homemade peirogies and halushki, and homemade nut rolls as well. We buy several dozen each Friday, stuffing extras into the freezer for when Lent ends, and so does this awesome food.
5. If someone in our family gets really cranky, they are offered a hot dog. Long story, but quite simply, if you are asked if you "need a hot dog," you know you are being a royal pain.
And, I could go on and on, but I'd like to throw in some the traditions we had growing up...
1. Pancakes every Sunday morning, made by dad, who also made a huge mess. He served his coutry as a Navy baker on a ship during WW II and the man could cook, but he could also make a mess. For the longest while, I hated pancakes. I still don't eat many of them, because I just had far too many as a kid.
2. Dad took 3 of us camping once, while mom stayed home with the new baby. Known for combining unlikely foods, he served us chicken noodle soup with cut up hot dogs floating in it. We loved it and bragged incessently to Mom, pleading with her to get dad's recipe. She bascially told us to stuff a sock in it! Typing this, I can see that hot dogs play a rather important part in my life!
My foods of choice? Dark chocolate takes a starring role...and when stressed, I've been known to resort to cream cheese and potato chips.
Head on over to Artsyville using the link above, and explore some of the lists. I'd love to hear about some of your favorites, either now or while growing up.