Thursday, January 20, 2011


I bought a mini muffin pan last Friday and Lil has been "REALLY wanting" to use it. The kids got out an hour early from school today (because of the sleet/snow) so I decided this afternoon was a great time to bake with the girls.

Lil read the recipe, helped measure the ingredients, and both girls did A LOT of spoon and beater licking. At one point, I had to teach them some baking etiquette... of the "enough licking already!" variety. I even taught Lil about "preheating" the oven. The muffins were delicious and with a glass of cold milk made a great afternoon snack.

I'm blogging about this as I prepare the evening meal of penne rigate (just a fancy name for a variety of pasta) with meat sauce and a Caesar salad. This 30-day food challenge is teaching me more than I thought possible. I am learning there is a certain "joy" to cooking. In preparing food for my family, I am taking the time to think about the nutritional aspect of eating. In getting suggestions on what to prepare from each of my children, I am remembering my favorite meals from my childhood I would ask my mother to make for me.

Meal time is a special part of being human. Animals simply eat out of necessity. Humans eat out of necessity and for enjoyment. Cultures all over the world take part in a family meal. Meal time is an important part of family we lose when we simply go through the drive through or throw a "tv dinner" in the microwave.

My childhood is filled with fond memories of discussions we shared around the supper table. I also remember the bell my Grandmother kept on top of her refrigerator. She would ring the bell to indicate to my Granddaddy it was time for dinner/supper if he was in the field or garden. I still remember my Granny making cornbread to go with the big pot of pinto beans simmering on the stove. My dad would always go out to the garden to see if he could find some fresh, green onions to go with the meal.

Even though my mother worked part-time as a nurse when I was growing up, she always prepared me a nutritious (and usually hot) breakfast before I headed to school in the morning. I also loved our Saturday night tradition of popcorn and Coke. She would always make sure our popcorn bowl was full while we enjoyed the Disney movie of the week on ABC.

I guess I'm learning what a big part of the day food is... I was getting frustrated with the kids always being hungry and just grabbing whatever was available in the fridge, cupboard, or pantry. Now, I'm even thinking about their snacks. Staying in my budget has required me to take a little extra time in food preparation. And, this extra time has taught me the joy of cooking.

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