Creating Memories at the Kitchen Table

by Cate on July 17, 2012

I am very cognizant of the fact that I want my kids to look back on their childhood and have a smile slowly spread across their face when they think of it.  The whole thing.  I want them to have all sorts of memories and fondness for things we’ve done or shared together.  Moments, big and small, thread together to create one big happy life.  Of course not every moment is going to be happy, but when they look back on those trying times, they can reflect on how we handled it, together, as a family.

When Nick and Madeline have their own families, I want them to look back on some of the favorite things we shared and weave them into their own family traditions.

A lot of what I know will become favorite memories centers on food at our table.  And I use the word “table” loosely … for it is wherever we gather together to break bread as a family, whether it be the little table in the kitchen that used to be in Nick’s room when he was Madeline’s age, the dining room table that their Dad and I bought for our second house, the scratched up but well loved coffee table in the living room that opens up to reveal something much larger, the steps outside our front door, and even my bed, where we sometimes share a spontaneous movie night with food spread onto trays on our laps.

I can picture them reminiscing about their favorite meals.  Banana pancakes for sure.  Penne with Vodka sauce.  That crazy rainbow cake.

The fact that Nick will request to have his birthday dinner at home, as opposed to the restaurant of his choice, says it all.

As far as my own childhood food memories, one of the strongest is of this Italian Meat Pie that my Mom makes every year for Easter.  A tradition for as long as I can remember, it’s something that we look forward to every year.  It requires a few hours worth of work, and is sinfully decadent in a egg, cheese, pepperoni, salami overload kind of way.

This past year, my Mom invited Nick into the secret society of Italian Meat Pie makers, and they spent Good Friday afternoon rolling, measuring, mixing, and baking away.  She was happy to have a helper.  He was thrilled to be that helper.

Pie - Almost Done

And more food memories were created.

Pie - Egg Wash

Pie - notes

Pie - Done

Pie - aftermath

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne July 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

My memory is very strongly linked to food…I can remember things I ate years ago at family functions or just at everyday dinners. I love that you’re instilling this in your kids as well!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Green Goddess Soup and Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

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Ramona July 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

how terrific, I wish I could have cooked with my Grandmother

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Sarah Caron July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

My cousin and I were recently talking about the family reunions we went to as kids. And amazingly, despite all the action and excitement of the reunions — the pool time, the volleyball games, etc — the first thing we both started gushing about was how the buffet was set up in our cousin’s barn where everyone would fill their plates with brilliant red lobsters, salty clams and hot ears of sweet corn. We’d never talked about it before, and it was amazing to hear that we shared the same recollections so strongly — all relating to the food and the feeling that came with being with so many of our family members.
Sarah Caron recently posted..Blueberry White Chocolate Sundaes

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