Growing up, I do not remember ever cooking with anyone. Not my mother, not my grandmothers, not anyone. What I do remember is the many good meals I had at the home of my youth group leaders, Jean and Marshall Jackson, who took me home from church with them most Sundays during my teens. It was in their home that I was fed in more ways than with food. Seated together as a family at their table, I experienced having good home-cooked food and nourishing conversation. I have never thought about this until now, but that is where my love affair with home and food began. It continued in the kitchens and at the tables of my first Mother-in-Law, MawMaw, and Shirshee, who became my chosen other mother and daughter Tara’s other grandmother. These three women, Jean Jackson, Miriam Pennington, and Shirley Davis sparked my love for food and family, and I can still see and feel their kitchens and tables, laden with delicious food and more love than I had ever known.
These days I am cooking more than ever, finding calm in my kitchen while the world spins out of control. Food for physical nourishment is universal. I believe food for emotional nourishment is also.
This blog’s first post was January 2015, via itsinthesauce.com. The meaning of “Sauce” does not directly relate to food. It refers to differences made best by the combination of our strengths with those of others, such as the best sauces are a combination of flavors, not just one flavor, or ingredient. “Itsinthesauce” is also the name of the Personality Tool that I developed twenty years ago and have used in my Leadership Development business with many individuals and groups since then.
I have posted (mainly) weekly since then. My passion is “Inspiring Positive Change in Work, Life, and Family,” and my blog posts fall into one of these three areas. This may be the first post that covers all three. Less you question how “Work” relates to food, consider that “Family Work” is the most important “Work” of all, and it is Love Work.
One of my love meals for Mike and me this week brought many memories to mind. I have had one of the cookbooks, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, for almost fifty years, although the only thing I remember cooking from it is the Green Beans Caesar recipe! This cookbook does not have a copyright date, but I have a more recent version of it whose copyrights are 1969 and 1978, and the Green Beans Caesar recipe is in it. I just realized that like many other cookbooks in my collection, I have never ever made anything from it! Time to cull.
I have had the other cookbook featured, Even More Special, for more than thirty years, and it is my all-time favorite cookbook. I have cooked many recipes from this cookbook and have loved most of them. These two cookbooks represent two very different times in my life. Going down memory lane through this meal and post brings many emotions to the forefront.
The salad recipe is from the March 2020 issue of the magazine, Carolina Country. This recipe includes Pomegranate Vinegar. I searched several grocery stores for this vinegar and could not find it. When I had decided to substitute another type of vinegar from my cupboard, I found that I already had Pomegranate Vinegar in my vinegar collection! Confession. It was out of date, but I decided out of date vinegar would be ok, and it was.
Since I am not a big feta cheese lover, I had planned to substitute goat cheese for the feta but did not get to the store to purchase it. I then thought I would use cheddar cheese in it, but decided this meal had enough cheese already, so I did not put any cheese in the salad, and I think it was better without it as a side. If I prepared this salad as an entrée, I would add chicken, salmon, or shrimp, and goat cheese. I also substituted a navel orange for the tangerine, since tangerines could not be found in any grocery store I visited, apparently out of season on the East Coast. I knew what my readers likely also know. If you don’t have an item needed for a recipe, get creative and substitute. Sometimes your creation is better than the original recipe.
I will appreciate your thoughts about this post. I always appreciate responses, but especially with this post since it is somewhat a departure from my more “business” posts. But not really much of a departure, if we remember “Family Work.”
Eat well, stay safe, and look for the Helpers. My assistant/friend, Gina Hayes, is one of my very important Helpers. Gina’s words, “It looks like cooking, cookbooks, and dishes would be great blog topics,” in response to a meal I posted on Facebook last week, is the vision for this post.
My nourishment Helpers, Miriam Pennington and Shirley Davis, are looking on from above, still providing me guidance this many years later. How I would love to have my feet under their tables even one more time.