Sunday, September 23, 2012

Food and Loving

I've been away from the computer again for awhile.  Trying to get the hang of my new school year and parenting a teenager.  I've been trying to think of just the right post and I finally hit on it tonight.

I have looked for and tried some new recipes lately, some things that would be tasty and quick to make, some quintessential American food for Sam to try.  I have had some wins and more losses in my quest for yummy food for the fam. 

When deciding what to make for the week, I pulled out my family cookbook that my mom and I put together several years ago with recipes that our extended family offered.  As a good Southern girl, I love making memories with food.

Immediately I was drawn into the memories that either the contributors or the recipes themselves brought to mind.  I decided on my grandmother's shrimp casserole and my cousin's chicken enchiladas this week.

My grandparents and my cousins have always been such an important part of my life.  Since my grandparents have left this world for a better one, I don't get to see my cousins very much..our lives don't intersect as often as they should. 

As I made the shrimp casserole last night, I drifted off to memories of my grandmother, holidays and the times I had made this casserole before.  My grandmother was a very gracious, lovely Southern lady.  I can still hear the distinctive way her drawl lilted out my name when she called me.  No one says my name the way Nonnie did.  Normally when a person says my name, it sounds kinda bitchy.  And more often than not, my friends call me Raynsford instead of Heather anyway, so hearing my grandmother call my name from the past made the casserole taste that much better to me.

Last night I made it for Sam, Brian and my brother-in-law, Eric.  A simple casserole, easy to make and very tasty.  I trusted what I knew to be a good meal, and it was excellent.  And it makes great leftovers.

Tonight I went for the chicken enchiladas.  Sam still hasn't had Mexican food...I know, I know, my parental rights as a Texan may be revoked any minute for just admitting that she has been with us for a month and she still has not tasted the manna from Heaven that is Tex Mex.  But, Brian is not a huge fan (my adorable Yankee husband, you know) and we try not to eat out more than once a week. 

So, I opened the Howe Family Cookbook again and turned to Kristy's page for the enchiladas.  Another easy recipe.  More great memories of my sweet cousin.  She and Brian regularly trade good natured barbs at family functions and it is always fun to watch.  When they really get going, get your popcorn.  And as Sam has been playing tricks on Brian recently, Kristy is quite pleased. 

When I pulled the enchiladas out of the oven and they looked so tasty, I had to laugh at myself.  Here I have been looking all over the internet for great recipes, when the best ones have been in a book on my shelf for years. 

I can't wait to pick more for next week.  No guess work needed, no fingers crossed that it will taste good.  The family recipes will remind me of the love that surrounds me and make great lunches the next day. 

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