A Family Food Affair

Me as a little girl watching every move my mom made in the kitchen. I’m sure I thought there was something in it for me.

I come from a family of food.  I think the Dutch meaning for my maiden name Van Gilder is food.  I don’t say that flippantly…I really mean it.  My mom would get up and make me and my two sisters full breakfasts before school.  It was not rare to have pork chops (with gravy over bread) and eggs for breakfast.  She would time the cookies to come out of the oven when the school bus arrived on my street at 3:15 p.m.  My house was known for food to my high school friends.  While the food filled our tummies (sometimes way too much), it more importantly warmed our souls. Instead of pulling a simple snack out of the pantry for me and my friends, my mom would whip us up a chocolate cake from scratch with peanut butter icing.  And it was never from a box of cake mix.  Oh, the horror of a cake mix.

Notice the coffee cups in front of me and my sisters…

Dinner with my family growing up was always a full fare.  After we ate, we would clear the table and my dad would serve us all coffee (caffeinated because decaf was for wimps) and we would have to sit around and talk.  There were times I am sure when I rolled my teenager eyes at the notion of sitting around and talking after dinner.  But that was my parents’ way of leaving the light on with their three daughters.  Time invested while food was being digested.  Over the years, I have been amazed at how food brings people together.  Have you ever noticed that the most popular room in the house is the kitchen? People hang out in the kitchen whether it’s tiny or huge.  I hosted a send off party for my son’s graduating class in August.  About 70 kids showed up and guess where most of them stood?  Around the kitchen island! We had two other rooms specifically created for teens in mind, and they just wanted to be in the kitchen. Instead of the famous line from Field of Dreams “if you build it they will come”, my experience has been “if you cook it or bake it, all people under the age of 18 will come”. It wasn’t until 30 years after I left home that I had an a-ha! moment…We were in Atlanta last summer and made the rounds to our favorite pastors there (Charles Stanley’s First Baptist Church of Atlanta and Andy Stanley’s church Northpoint church). We ended our pilgrimage at Passion City Church. The pastor, Louis Giglio, read Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me.” BINGO!  There IS a spiritual connection between food and God!  When we let God in, He will dine/eat with us – which to me means we can be in fellowship with Him and other people when we gather around the table.  That made me feel so much better for all of the calories I have consumed over the years. After all, some of the best conversations with my children have happened around the dinner table.  I might not serve the coffee like my dad did, but we do sit around and talk like my parents did with me and my sisters.  And I do get the teenage eye roll on occasion. I hope you enjoy the recipes that I post. I am not creative enough to create my own recipes, but I have learned how to spot one that I think my family will like.  And, the recipe has to be fairly easy to follow in order for me to attempt it. When I can, I’ll put a link for the recipe so you can see the source. May the light be ever on in your kitchen…