but it’s so much more than that.
It’s a container for memories:
Cookie dough making
And for a little granddaughter captivated by water, a giant bathtub for tiny toys.
Cooking and eating are emotional undertakings. They bring us together day after day and for special days of celebrating. How many of us can look at a certain dish or pan or plate and it immediately conjures up memories? “Those are the bowls we always used for ice cream!” or “That’s the dish Grandma put cranberries in every Thanksgiving!” or “I remember that plate holding a pile of pancakes on Sunday mornings!”.
Several years ago, my sister and I were going through my mom’s cupboards and came upon a tan ceramic baking dish. We looked at each other and said, almost in unison “apple crisp!”. Whatever else that dish had held, it had held apple crisp often enough that it was etched in our memories.
I believe in making traditions and in keeping them as long as they remain a joy and not a burden. Some of the best traditions we can make center around cooking, food, and ordinary daily life. I think it’s o.k. to serve soup every Saturday or pancakes every Sunday or zucchini cake every August. Children love knowing there is something they can count on being the same. We can change it up a little every now and then, but go ahead and create happy, warm memories. I’m looking forward to getting out the fall-colored owl plates I bought last September and starting a new tradition. Now I just have to decide – what’s the one food we’ll always eat on the little owl plates?