Friday, September 10, 2010

Home Cooking

Candice making donuts

"Life may not be the party we had hoped for
but as long as we're here, we might as well eat!"

My birthday breakfast

Our Colorado Heroes gave me quite a birthday party.

Lauren's Rice Krispie Treats

It was like staying in a restaurant for five days: homemade chicken pot pie, lemon cake, homemade ice cream, lasagna, homemade bread . . .

Observing their family in action was a treat—it was even better than the food. The mom goes to school, substitute teaches, hits the gym for a 5:am workout, and is back home for the kids; cooks, cleans, does the laundry til late at night and plays Rock Band on the Wi. The dad does breakfast, supervises piano practice, irons everyone's clothes, packs the kids off to school, and then goes off to be a lawyer during the day. He runs marathons and paints water colors in his spare time. And don't get me started on the kids.

But the best part is that they're a real family. Will (8) gets up at 6:00 am. When he heard that there would be homemade donuts for breakfast he cheered (like the rest of us.) Then his mom told me, "Just sleep in as long as you want. I'll make the donuts whenever you wake up."

"What about me?" Will asked. Candice said, "You can have some cereal to tide you over until Oma wakes up." He fell apart, tears and everything. "So they're not for my breakfast?" he wailed before collapsing into a full-fledged meltdown. Moments like these make parents crazy and grandparents chuckle.

There were other touches of authenticity. Hurt feelings, grumbles, murmurs . . . if there weren't everyday crises, the successes wouldn't be so extraordinary.

Candice was in the kitchen all day Monday: first the donuts; then chicken, gravy and dough for potpie; coconut/banana cream pie with an animal cookie crust. I don't know how many times she washed the dishes, wiped the counters, and swept the floor just preparing our meals. And, as all cooks know, the food was devoured in less time than it took to find the recipe in the book.

Families are the same way. Observing from a little distance, I can see that the scrambling, the stewing and simmering, the messiness of raising kids is worth the effort. Just keep on stirring. "A table encircled by a happy, loving family becomes an altar."

Jake, Will, Katy, Lars

Happiness is homemade.


Christie said...

Candice is a rock star. She likes to pretend otherwise, but then you go to her squeaky-clean house and get treated to a five-star gourmet meal. I come home and vow to do better in my house every time. And fail.

kenju said...

You have such a wonderful family!! I'm glad they treated you well on your birthday!

Diane said...

What a treat.

I love my homemade family. They mean everything to me.

Heidi said...

I love that Katy & Lauren are rocking the curly hair! So cute. When we went to visit we had homemade clam chowder. Can't wait to go again!