By Heather O.
Yep, it’s another food post. Deal.
After church yesterday, we walked in from a yucky sleet storm to a warm home full of the welcoming smell of crock pot cooking. J said, “Mmmmm, I smell something yummy! What it is?”
“It’s the smell of the Sabbath,” I said.
He said, “The what?”
DH said, “The what?”
I sighed. “Never mind.”
You see, my mother is not a fantastic cook. She’s not terrible either, don’t get me wrong, she just prefers to spend her time doing other things. But she did cook for us growing up, diligently and dutifully. My memories are that she makes great chocolate chip cookies and delicious homemade bread, things she hasn’t done for I’m sure at least 20 years.
Our family’s activities and bonding time was not connected to food or food rituals. My parents provided other avenues for bringing us together as a family. I actually didn’t even know that families bonded over food until I joined my DH’s family, who take their food very, very seriously. It’s one of the main differences in our families, and one of the things I like best about being in his parent’s home. At DH’s house, good food abounds.
But I do have strong food memories associated with Sundays. We almost always had a roast, or some other crock pot food, I’m sure not because of the culinary value of the food, but because a crock pot is the easiest way to cook food for a hungry family of 8 who has just endured 3 hours of church. The menu also included Pillsbury crescent rolls, you know, the kind that come in a rolled up can thingie, and since there were only 8, we all could only eat one. We then usually had jello salad, artfully prepared on a leaf of lettuce, and some kind of special drink, you know, like juice (Milk was our usual fare at dinner otherwise. Always.).
My parents also almost always had us eat on their wedding china, even when we were kids. It made things special, and nobody can say they wasted their china waiting for a special occasion. We were taught at an early age how to handle it carefully. And when the inevitable happened, that is, when my brother broke a golden lined goblet, my mother shrugged and said, “Kids break things. It was an accident,” and that was it. To my knowledge, in all our years using the china, that goblet was the only piece that was ever broken.
As we got older, of course, the big Sunday dinners changed somewhat. There weren’t as many of us in the house, sometimes we had to go to Grandma’s house for dinner, etc, etc. And, as the youngest of us turned into teenagers, my mother spent less and less time in the kitchen, and now, hardly cooks at all.
Unless somebody is coming over for dinner on Sunday.
These days, without an army of children to feed, sometimes she gets a little fancier, like serving salmon or something like that. But more likely than not, she’ll serve a roast, complete with potatoes, onions, and carrots. And more likely than not, she’ll serve it on her best china.
And when we walk into her house, it will smell like the Sabbath.
What does the Sabbath smell like to you?
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