This Mother’s Day I wanted to celebrate something my mom gave me: memories of the power of a family meal. I do not remember a time as a child where we didn’t have a family dinner together. Even when my dad was coming home late from farming, my parents made it a point to be around the table with me and my siblings. And the meals didn’t stop at our kitchen table, there are many memories of meals shared with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Those meals were always full of laughter, stories of days gone by and homemade family favorite recipes. Those meals continue to serve as my inspiration to strive for my goal: to raise a strong and healthy family, one meal at a time.
Lessons from my mom’s kitchen:
1. A watched pot never boils.
2. It’s okay to eat a little cookie dough.
3. Grow a garden, it’s good for you in more ways than one.
4. Eating together is an important family activity.
5. Meals are an expression of love from your mother.
I love inviting my kids into the kitchen and I believe that really is the key to happy memories in the kitchen. My kids are still young and still forming their memories from the kitchen. But, I wanted to know what they think. Here is what they say are lessons they have learned so far:
Riley: I like to cook with mom because it is fun, it helps me learn how to cook when I am adult and I can learn to make things for myself.
Emma: It’s fun to make something in the kitchen because I like to try new things and I can learn how to cook for when I am a mom.
Riley: I have learned about new foods from different states and I like them too.
Emma: I have learned its fun and easy to make things.
Cooking with your kids isn’t the most glamorous process. It is full of imperfections, but it is worth every crumb on the kitchen table. I keep inviting them into the kitchen and they keep coming back.
Here is a favorite recipe from my mom when I was a kid, my kids and husband even made it tonight for me to celebrate Mother’s Day:
Makes 8 servings.
1 pound lean hamburger
1 10.75 ounce can Campbell’s lite chicken gumbo soup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
Whole wheat hamburger buns
1. Brown hamburger over medium heat in large sauté pan.
2. Drain any fat and add chicken gumbo soup, brown sugar, ketchup and mustard.
3. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Fill whole wheat buns and serve.
Happy Mother’s Day. What lessons have you learned from your mother’s kitchen?