Now from a culinary perspective, our homes have created an interesting blend of food. It's rural Midwestern meat and potatoes kinds of dishes meets eastern European immigrant. We have a pancake recipe, a recipe for kolache, pirogue, stew, vegetable soup, a bean and rice dish, and a number of other desserts just to name a few. These are not necessarily award winning dishes that make you cry when you eat them, but they are pretty good.
|My mom's oven stew|
Maintaining a recipe box with an assortment of recipe cards, scrap pieces of paper, magazine articles, etc. becomes one of these ways food is created in my reality. It contributes to the reality created when you start cooking many of your own meals. This reality can push family interaction to the forefront of your time spent preparing meals and that's not a bad thing, if you're doing it right, no? When we've taken a recipe from our past and made it our own, it triggers memories about places and people. I remember the old kitchen from the farm house, the yellow and white chairs and the layout of the house before my parents expanded the floor plan. Or, when I'm making pancakes using my father-in-law's recipe, it evokes memories from my wife of her, as a child, sitting with her sister in the kitchen with their dad preparing breakfast. It's little mundane memories like this that I enjoy and cherish. Looking at a recipe card from my mother and eating said recipe in my own kitchen with my own family creates a sense connectedness between past and present. Essentially re-creating the breakfast dynamic with my kids that my wife and her sister experienced creates additional meaning to the act of making pancakes.
So, go out and make a conscious effort to change your reality around food. Learn a family dish or meal. Keep the lineage of your family alive, whatever form it is. Can't cook or don't have time to cook? Even better, learn to do this one family or friend dish well. If it's a recipe from an older family member, be conscious enough to look at it and know if you need to make it healthier. Regardless, think of a time and place in your past where you ate this meal. Reflect on who else has eaten this meal in the past. It can be a fruitful experience. Plus, you'll be eating carry-out one less night a week.
|This beauty here is about 30 years old and contains quite a few artery clogging, yet delicious rural Indiana fare|