Monday, March 12, 2007


One of the real pleasures in my life has been cooking for my family and watching a family enjoy and relish the dishes I prepared. I am very grateful for the sustaining effect that healthy meals and fresh nutritious food has brought into our lives.

I was particular in the food I prepared and took great pride in producing an attractive colorful product. The food needed to be cooked just right. I have always felt that we eat and enjoy food with our eyes, as well as, our nose. Asparagus needed to be watched closely so the vegetable would not be over-cooked and loose the bright green natural color.

One evening Bob told the boys they could cut a pie into any shape they wanted. That just delighted them and Robert cut a square shape out of the middle of the pie. I just could not stand that. Pie was made to be cut in a pie shaped piece and no other way. I took the pie tin and finished cutting the pie in the proper shapes. On April Fool Day, Tafta fixed dinner and she colored the gravy a bright blue. I could force more than two bites down. I know that sounds silly, but food is meant to be prepared in the proper way and be a feast for the eyes.

Our family was fortunate to have access to a large and productive garden where we grew a wide variety of vegetables. We also raised all kinds of fruit trees and all the varieties of berries Bob and I could get to grow in this Provo climate. Our whole family worked very hard in the garden and with the blessing of the Lord, hard work, and the super soil we were rewarded richly in return.

We also had a milk cow that we milked twice a day. Bob did most of the milking, but I learned to milk cows as a girl growing up on our family farm. So, I was able to fill the milking task as the need required. All of the boys except Rett learned to milk because he came along last in the family and of course Tafta, who had brothers enough so she was never required to help out with the milking chore.

The milk cow meant plenty of milk, cream, butter-milk and butter for us to use. As I have stated, I was raised on a farm where I grew up using all the dairy products we wanted. Hence, I was accustomed to cooking and using milk and milk products. In addition, we had a chicken coop and the laying hens provided us with an ample amount of eggs and occasionally a fresh chicken to cook.

The children were active energetic young people and it required lots of food to fill them full and meet their nutritional. Mostly they liked all the food I prepared. There very few dishes the children did not care for. Robert was not fond of fried liver. However, if I smothered the liver with onions he would eat and not complain. Wesley did not especially care for raisins. None-the-less, he always ate the cakes and cookies that were made with raisins as one of the ingredients.

One particular evening I made stew for supper. I had filled the large capacity fry-pan to the brim with this tasty dish. All the children liked stew and thought a meal with stew was a special treat. We had home-made biscuits and a tossed green salad to finish out our evening meal.

The container of stew did not last long and was soon empty.

“My, that surely tasted good!,” Robert exclaimed.

“I wish you would make stew more often. I really like it.” Wesley added.

Baby Stacy, setting in his high-chair, had cleaned up all the stew in his dish. He wanted to get down from his high-chair. Stacy was cute when he fed himself. Sometimes he would hold the spoon in his right hand in the proper way and eat the larger portions out of the bowl with his left hand.

“But I am still hungry! I want some more,” Kerry lamented. There was dismay in the tone of his voice because the fry-pan was totally empty and the pan had been spooned out clean.

“Well, Son,” Mom replied get some peanut butter and honey and mix them together. That would be very good on a slice of new bread.” Kerry did just that and filled his little tummy to full contentment.

Another meal everyone loved was chicken and noodles. After cooking a stewing chicken, home-made noodles were made and added to the chicken and broth. This mixture was heated until the dough was totally cooked. The noodle mixture was put over mashed potatoes. Oh, my what a wonderful meal that made.

Tafta stated, “Be sure to make enough noodles so we will have some for left-overs.”

The family liked it when I made a meat loaf and baked potatoes to accompany the meal. Meat load was a favorite of Dads and he enjoyed it when I made the tasty food. Add a salad and I had a balanced diet for the children. The kids were healthy and they missed very few school days because of their healthy meals and life style.

I must also remember to state that Creamed New Peas, Potatoes, and Carrots was up there among their most favorite meals. No one complained about the work when we picked and then shelled peas prior to creating the dish. This was a dish that I learned how to make from my mother. She was a wonderful cook and her skill was enjoyed by my family.

A fun meal, I especially remember, was in the early summer and the Bing cherries had been harvested. I made a cherry pie using those delicious sweet cherries like my mother used to do. The children loved to have pie or, matter of fact, any dessert. But the children were looking forward to the ending of the meal with cherry pie.

“Gosh, I wish I could have all the cherry pie I wanted to eat,” Wesley lamented.

“Yes,” Kerry said shaking his head in agreement. “I wish the same thing.”

“Well,” Dad said, “Do you two boys think you could eat the rest of this pie?” Dad held out a big ten inch pie tin that was three-fourths full of cherry pie.

“Oh, Yes!” the boys exclaimed and smiled broadly.

“Alright,” Dad replied. “But you have to eat all of the pie!”

The two little boys slid over by each other and each took another piece of pie. They began to dig into the coveted, wonderful treat. The little fellows did very well until the pie was about two-thirds gone. Then their eating slowed down and the bites were a little less frequent. The whole family sat at the table and watched the two brothers in their attempt to consume the treat. I imagine they would have been seven and eight years of age.

It must be truly stated that they did finish off the pie and declared they had enough cherry pie for right now.

4 cups of carrots cut in ½ inch chunks
4 cups of new potatoes cut in chunks
1 or 2 pkgs. of frozen petite peas
Put carrots in a 6 quart pot and to a boil. Turn the heat down and cook for about ten minutes. Add potatoes and cook an additional ten minutes. Then add peas and bring to a boil and cook three to four minutes. (Do not overcook. Peas should have natural green color.)

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