Mother Knows Best
When I think of the mothers in my life, food is closely woven in to so many of the memories I have with them. There has never been a shortage of food at family gatherings, and this blessing is due in a large part to the work of the mothers in my life. My mother, my grandmothers, and my mother-in-law have all taught me many things about food-everything from preparing it to serving to eating it. In honor of them this Mother’s Day, I would like to share with you some of the lessons they have taught me that I cherish today.
My Mom taught me that even the smallest thing can make food more enjoyable. I remember that as a very young child, my Mom would ask me if I would like my sandwich cut in half into triangles or rectangles. As Oprah says, the love is in the details. I have many fond memories of getting notes from her in my lunch box-every meal tastes better when served with love! Mom always knew that cereal was more fun to eat out of my favorite bowl, and that as a high school runner, what I ate the night before a race was of utmost importance. These seemingly small things that she took the time to do for me nourished me just as much as the food she served.
My mother-in-law has taught me the power of planning. I never cease to be amazed at the endless supply of delicious food that she serves anytime we are together. When all of her 4 children and their spouses are visiting for the weekend, she takes care to plan out every detail of every meal making sure she serves food that everyone will enjoy. It’s not unusual to find her in the kitchen on a Saturday night lovingly preparing food so that we can still enjoy a hot, home cooked meal on Sunday after church. The time she takes to plan each meal, shop for the groceries, and prepare enough food for all of us-not to mention clean up afterwards-is time that is definitely spent in loving service.
Nannie (my grandmother-in-law) taught me that it’s possible to change. When she was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago, she didn’t sit back and feel sorry for herself. She was determined not to let it get the best of her! She made some changes to how she ate and was very mindful of her choices. She lost weight and kept her blood sugar in check and hasn’t had to go on medication. I admire the way she handled the whole situation-if more people followed her lead, we’d have a much healthier nation! Nannie also taught me though, that some things should never be changed-like her butternut cake or French pudding recipes, for instance. They are heaven on a plate, and I would never dream of trying to change those recipes! And no matter how hard I try, my cake never turns out as moist and fluffy as hers-I guess love and experience are her secret ingredients!
My Grandma Bradley (my Mom’s mom) taught me that consistency pays off. She will turn 87 on June 11 and is still in good health-living independently and walking a mile or 2 everyday! She consistently eats a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, goes for a walk, drinks lots of water, and reads her Bible everyday. This consistency has kept her mind, body, and spirit healthy for so many years. I can only hope and pray to be as healthy and strong as she is when I am 87. Another thing that I believe that has kept her young is her consistent love for her family and friends. Grandma can always be counted on to lift up your spirits when you are feeling down and to listen when you need someone to talk to.
My Grandma Shields (my Dad’s mom) taught me that sharing food with others is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. There’s no telling how many different people from all over the world have enjoyed delicious food at my Grandma’s table. Making meals that nourish people’s bodies and souls is truly her ministry-her gift and calling. It’s not unusual for her to host people that she just met-or maybe has never met before-for an elegant 4 course meal. One of my favorite memories from growing up is getting to go over to Grandma’s for Sunday dinner-there was always something new to try and plenty of old favorites. Even today at 86, she still prepares Sunday dinner for no less than 8 or 10 people each week. My Grandma Shields not only, serves delicious food, she serves healthy food. She also taught me that healthy food can be tasty. In fact, I wrote another blog all about that (check out her awesome biscuit recipe): http://www.nashvillenutritionexpert.com/content/making-healthy-taste-good
All in all, as you can see I have been blessed by the mothers in my life who have fed me wonderful meals, but even more importantly nourished me with love. I love all of you!