Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yummy Winter Beet and Comte Cheese Salad

I have found solace in the kitchen since I needed a step stool in my great-grandmother's Missouri home. Grammy would stand me at the sink and I'd wash potatoes, greens, and carrots. She taught me to fill the sink and get to work without complaining. "It ain't gonna git done on its own", she'd say.

And she taught me how to dance. I didn't know it at the time, (sneaky ol' bird) but she'd fill a glass jar with cream, hand it to me with a beautiful southern drawl.."Shake it up--shake it as hard as you can!", she'd say.

And I'd dance and I'd shake until my arms about fell off. I had no idea I was making butter. Grammy had a way of telling you what you did AFTER you did it.

Fast forward 40 years, and I think of her when I make this salad on cold winter days. Simple acts like washing the beets for the salad recipe below bring me comfort. Their earthy flavor and deep red hue speak to me about the inheritance our families pass to us.

It is my view that home-cooked meals & gathering around the table as a family are somewhat forgotten jewels, buried deep under crazy schedules, hectic deadlines, and the drive-through's of our society. Grammy's generation wouldn't understand ours today, not that she'd want to. She made almost everything in her home from scratch, and we still had time to rock on the front porch every night.

I aim to create a family lifestyle which abhors the hasty, pre-made, selfish culture surrounding us. I want my family to learn healthy food choices through my actions. My inheritance to my son will be the same one that Grammy blessed me with--cooking. We might not make butter, but we'll find our solace in the kitchen and find time to rock on the front porch.

I'm going to do what we all know we need to do. I'm going to take a daily personal interest in my family, and cooking will become our shining jewel.

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