When I was in Maine, the San Diego Mom observed that cooking is one way I show love to my family. She is wise. I was reminded of that fact this afternoon.
The boys were snooping through the pantry, trying to discover today’s grocery booty. Wild Thing stumbled upon the Pinwheels® cookies I bought specially for him. He and Wizard whooped and hollered and jumped all around the kitchen when they found those cookies. I loved seeing them so happy over cookies! It is no secret that WT loves marshmallows and chocolate; last week’s epicurean revelation was Mallomars. He did a comparison study today and decided he likes Pinwheels® better. They remind him of his favorite chocolates from Purity Candy, in Lewisburg, Pa. (where he was born).
After the Pinwheel epiphany, they asked what was for dinner. I replied, “green stuff filled with brown stuff.” Dead silence … (wait for it) … “STUFFED PEPPERS!!” My boys love my green peppers stuffed with ground lamb, veal and brown rice. Wizard desperately wanted to help me cook, so I said, “Sure. I’m glad for the help.” Wizard washed and cleaned all the peppers, making very sure he kept the tops with their bottoms. Then, he helped me fill the peppers with the meat and rice mixture. He was full of questions: “Is the meat cooked? Why does it smell so good? What seasonings did you use? What’s the cheese for ? What are the eggs for?” We stood together filling peppers and talking about how we make the dish. Moose showed up after a bit and wanted to help, too. Wizard’s natural response is “forget it,” but I found something for Moose to do. He poured beef broth in the bottom of the baking pan. Then I lifted the top of each pepper, and he poured a little broth in each. [He actually read the words “beef broth” on the container; he’s so smart.] It was comforting to make comfort food with my kids.
Of course, when it came time to clean up the cooking mess, the three boys evaporated into thin air. All I saw was the trail of smoke in their wake as they ran out the door. In their defense, I did throw them out of the house to take out the trash and go play before dinner.
I am the quintessential Jewish mother who is sustained by feeding her family. Scary to think a woman so allegedly modern is quite old school.
Food is love, but is love food?