Three Food Love Stories
Key Lime Love
When I turned 40 (yesterday…not really, a few yesteryears ago) my hubby threw me a surprise party. He planned it via email in one week and no one blew it. A handmade card from the girls gifted me with “go out with dad and we will stay home alone and pay for your dinner.” My sweet near 12 year olds offered the gift of bravery and we took them up on it. JR paid for dinner. There were 2 calls during dinner which JR took, passing on the updates from the brave ones. Of course, they were in on the whole thing.
We pulled in the garage, I opened the door into the kitchen and in 2.5 seconds all of this happened:
- I noticed the room was pitch black
- The dog didn’t come to the door
- The girls would NEVER have all the lights off
- There was the silhouette of a very tall man dressed in all dark clothing
- I panicked
- The lights went on
- 40 people I love shouted surprise
- I fell in the doorway.
Horrific fear and delightful surprise slammed into each other. The next 10 seconds all of this happened:
- I saw my BFF sitting on my kitchen stool
- I went to her and started crying
- I sobbed, “I LOVE SURPRISES”
- She laughed and said, “I know you do”
- I turned and saw all the people and couldn’t say anything
- Then I saw the table full of everything Key Lime you can think of
- I indignantly said to my hubby – who pulled off this wonderful surprise, “Why did you let me order key lime pie at the restaurant?”
He said he didn’t want to blow the surprise over dessert! It is the best gift he’s ever given me.
Hand Me Downs
When reorganizing my file drawer after moving into our little apartment here, I came across this envelope from my Grandma Rozie (Mother Mary’s mom). Here’s what was inside:
- One 4×6 card with a recipe for Never Fail Tomato Soup. It has a swirly line under the title and this comment: From Pella’s Choicest Cooking Recipes, green book.
- “Leanne’s recipe – Delicious” on a Ciba Seeds note page with a recipe for something that has strawberries, yogurt, marshmallows in it and she took it for a potluck in R.Rapids Health Centre
- 6 newspaper cut outs with recipes for Three Bean Salad, Rhubarb Blueberry Jam, Crock pot Barbecued Roast Beef, Sumi Salad, Creamy Rice Pudding, and Good Moist Coffee Cake
- A Mutual Telephone Company ‘tear off and remit with payment’ portion of the bill with a recipe for Penuche frosting on the back.
- And a newspaper poem. I’ll just share these few lines:
“All angels don’t have silver wings, Or long gossamer robes of white, Nor do they have haloes, Of gold that glow both day and night. There are those in polyester, Who hasten to a sick friends’ bed, With love, a bowl of chick soup, And loaf of homemade bread.”
Foodie language handed down through generations found in an envelope. That explains a few things I love.
Crunchy Chili and Hard Tack
Michigan in the fall is spectacular. They have colors there I’ve never seen anywhere else. Michigan has two of the best things in my life.
I was just there in soup season, in my sweet spot. Friday pizza birthday party night was a kitchen that slowly filled up with college students. They came to celebrate, meet and be met, and take part in dinner preparation. I stood in the center of kneading bread, chopping veggies, grating cheese and thinking, ‘life doesn’t get much better than this for me.’ I laughed when the girls pulled their dough covered hands out of the bowls asking why ‘hers looks different from mine’ and I remembered the missing 1/2 cup of water. I thankfully handed the many blocks of mozzarella to ‘i want to do something’ helpers. A meaningful conversation happened by the sink as one shared a piece of her life and learnings so kindly with me. When it was time for assembly the volume increased around what would go on first, last, on half or the whole thing. Evenutally we ate the pizza creations, opened birthday gifts, shared life stories.
A day later, JR and I arrived at the house loaded with groceries once again and started some beans to soak overnight and prepare ingredients for chili the next day. Prior to church Sunday, we threw ingredients in 2 crockpots and turned them on high. What smelled good when we returned for lunch turned out to be chili with hard beans. I took out a pot and poured one crockpot full into it and boiled away. Even after 2 hours in the crock pot and an hour on the stove the beans were not very done. Turns out that crunchy chili went well with the missing baking powder cornbread (aka: hard tack). Yet, this less than perfect food didn’t take away anything from the joy of sitting around the table with my family and their community of delightful friends.
Getting the food, making the food, eating the food…this is the love language I speak.