This Is Gratitude Day 5. Make A Quick, Joyful, Beloved Recipe.
We all know food is good but what makes food taste amazing? A corndog baked in our oven at home doesn't hold a candle to a corndog consumed at the county fair. We can munch on store bought cookies that are like cardboard in comparison to mama's fresh baked chocolate chip delights. The fresh loaf of baguette from the grocery store pales in comparison to the warm buttery goodness stuffed in our mouths on the cobblestone streets of Paris.
When my husband was in high school, he took a class in home economics. When his friend Tony and him made a recipe as part of their homework, they listed "love" as one of the ingredients. Consequently, a deduction of points was taken from their final grade because "love isn't an ingredient."
But teacher Ms. Grumpy Pants was wrong.
Love is an ingredient.
Love is what turns food from good to "let's make this recipe forever."
Food holds memories together in every culture and space. It is a substantial atom of humanity and recipes are the scrumptious bond that unites us all. Babcia's handcrafted mushroom soup is a perfect mountain song as it calls families together. Warm braided challah bread is magnetic in its appeal to draw neighbors over for a slice. The BBQ that Uncle Horacio slowly smokes over 4th of July weekend makes friends appear out of the woodwork.
Recipes are biographies of people and places where we share our gratitude for each other. We often wait for just the right time or holiday to make that ever special dish. However, what if today we picked a recipe, the beloved one, and just made it?
Today, I searched through my recipes trying to locate just the right one to try. Growing up in Midwest, most of the recipes collected over the years contain either strawberry jello or a healthy cup of thigh growing mayonnaise, sometimes both. There was the chocolate Texas sheet cake recipe that a co-worker passed on to me years ago and a rhubarb coffee cake recipe artfully handwritten by my grandmother. Digging deeper and deeper into the family cookbooks and recipe boxes didn't turn up anything interesting.
I then thought about my husband's grandma who had recently returned to Warsaw Poland after living in the United States for forty plus years. My husband often would reminisce about how she was the best blueberry pierogi, maker. He would often talk nostalgically about summertime and how he would pick a pint of fresh blueberries. He would then beg her to slave for hours in the kitchen to make him a few little pierogi gems.
I did a little internet research and made a blueberry batch today. When my husband took the first bite, the room filled with joy as the pierogi transported him back to summertime when he was eight-years-old. My daughter then got to take her first bite and melted with delight. We added a new recipe to our immediate family's cookbook, and the joy and gratitude felt on a humdrum Tuesday united a generation before us and behind us.
The recipe for blueberry pierogi can be found here on "My Polish Kitchen."
With Gratitude. Until tomorrow friends.