| Guest Mom Monday |
I used to love menu planning. Back when I lived in town and had only one child who took regular naps, I would peruse a stack of cookbooks, make a weekly menu full of new recipes and head off to the grocery store for a shopping spree.
With new recipes, cooking was a little adventure. I relished the opportunity to try something different.
These days I live twenty minutes from the grocery store, have two children who never sleep at the same time and haven’t once had time to find more than one new recipe. The excitement is gone.
Most nights I end up begrudgingly making spaghetti, hamburgers, or some other simple dish I have made a hundred times before.
Looking back on my childhood, I realized that I have many memories surrounding the everyday meals that my mother made. I remember talking to her while she made spaghetti. I remember helping make sloppy Joe’s. I remember the simple sweet muffins my grandmother made just like her mother had during the Depression era.
Why are such ordinary meals remembered, and even cherished?
It really is the ordinary things that make up our lives. New experiences and adventures add spice, but not substance. It is the things that remain constant, like our husbands, children, family, faith, homes, and traditions that fill life with meaning and bring warmth to our hearts.
I have always been adventurous and loved the thrill of experiencing new people, places and things. Between the ages of 18 and 23, I lived in four different states and made a whirlwind trip around Europe.
Now as an adult with a husband, children, and responsibilities, I can’t take off on some new adventure whenever I so desire. I can’t even go to the grocery store on my own timetable, but my adventure is far from over.
C. S. Lewis wrote, “…it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction.”
I may not be able to fly off to some exotic place at this time in my life, but I am discovering and appreciating more about where I live—like land that grows pretty much everything, mountains and rivers right in my backyard, and great friends to share experiences with.
While I don’t have the time to make gourmet meals right now, I have found that I enjoy the challenge of making something that my kids will devour, which turns out to be anything but gourmet.
So on ordinary days when I am making an ordinary meal for my family, I’m going to try to remember that the regularity of it is comforting to my children. The time I take to cook and care for my family is special. My daily life, while not extraordinary, is filled with joy.
I love the sweet arms that hug me in the morning, the moments of rocking my baby, and watching my children grow into little people who can choose to love and to do what is right. This is my new adventure.
With the holidays just around the corner, I thought I’d leave you with a traditional family recipe that I will never get tired of making.
My Texas family makes Sweet Potato Pie every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and any other time we can justify such a sinfully delicious dish. I hope this adds a little spice to your life, and maybe some substance to.
Sweet Potato Pie
3-4 large sweet potatoes
½ cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ cup pecans
6 tablespoons cold butter
Peel and cut potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain. Add butter and mash. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 9x13 pan.
Mix together topping ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter. Crumble over the top of the potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Do not brown or over bake.