Have your ever noticed how powerful food is in recalling memories? A certain scent of a dish simmering on the stove or one bite can take you back to a different time and place.
Today I have delved into my awesome recipe box (thank you to my pal Molly, who hand-painted it as a wedding gift) to take out a tried and true family favorite; my Nana's sweet and sour meatloaf. While my Nana passed away almost seven years ago the smell of the meatloaf cooking in the oven brings me right back to being ten years old in her kitchen, helping her make Sunday dinner. My husband has heard many stories about Sunday dinners at my Nana's house (probably so many times he's sick to death of hearing of them) simply because they are some of my favorite childhood memories.
The week of your birthday my Nana gave you the choice of Sunday dinner. We all got together around the big wooden table and ate, laughed, and spent quality time together. Almost every year I chose boiled dinner as my dish of choice (something my uncle and grandfather were both proud of and excited for) and she cooked it in a big old pot on the stove, letting it simmer the day away. When finally finished it was put out onto the big serving tray usually used for the Thanksgiving turkey and I honestly could not get enough. Even now when I cook boiled dinner I smile thinking of those long ago days filled with family and togetherness.
Along with many other things my Nana taught me that food has the power to call people together, to comfort, to show affection and love and that the kitchen table is a sacred place. One of her favorite things was to see her family together and happy. Every time I dig in and taste one of the dishes she passed on to me I know I make her proud. Even though my husband never had the chance to meet her I know he feels the love she taught me to put into every whisk, stir, and spoonful.
Here's to you Nana! Thanks for all you taught me. I wouldn't be the woman I am today without your love and your inspiration. I hope that you're enjoying drinking iced tea and playing cards in Heaven with your mom, Ruthie, and Auntie Jeannie.
Until next time,