Saturday, May 17, 2008

3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days - Back at Home

It is so nice to be home! And I must say, Eric did a fantastic job while I was gone. I was welcomed home to a clean house and NO laundry! Isabelle, Alex, and Olivia had a great time with Dad too. They were spoiled a bit (isn't that what a dad's supposed to do while mom's away?)but otherwise stuck to our routine. What a wonderful man I am married to!

I also want to take a second to thank my brother-in-law who really helped us out while I was gone. He came both evenings to take over the dinner and bedtime routine so that Eric could go to work and still be home at a reasonable time. This was such a blessing for us, and it really freed me up to not have to worry about what was going on at home while I was away. Knowing that the kids were in the capable and loving hands of their wonderful, much-loved uncle was such a gift that Eric and I both truly appreciate!

Our meals for today definitely do not fall into the category of healthy, scratch-made food. None of them are included in our grocery budget either. So, I guess it's not entirely "fair" to include it as part of the 3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days series. But, life happens for all of us, so this is just the reality for today. Eric took the kids out for brunch this morning and they all had pancakes or french toast and bacon. Gracie had some mini chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast at my parents' house, and I had some leftovers from the funeral luncheon. For lunch, she and I both had some sandwiches on the train that my mom had packed for us. For dinner tonight, we picked up some pizzas on our way home from the train station. We've been saving a coupon for $3 pizzas (up to 2/coupon) for a pizza place that is not close to home, but that we drove by on our way tonight.

I am so thankful that everything worked out as it did so that I was able to attend my grandmother's funeral. I know everyone would have understood if I hadn't been able to make it, but it was wonderful to be able to be there with my family. I found out so many things about my grandmother's life that I had never known before.

I learned that she and I were very similar in our approach to cooking. My aunt told me that she used recipes as a spring board but never followed them exactly, especially when she was able to replace an ingredient with one that was more economical. This is exactly what I do.

I have such fond memories of sitting in her kitchen while she would cook. She always kept a little glass jar of red hots in her cabinet and I would get a small handful as a treat. The cookie jars were always full of homemade cookies that either my grandma or grandpa made. (And the cookie jars were kept on the bottom shelf so that little grandchild hands could easily reach into them.) When my sister and I would spend the night, Grandma would make us banana pancakes and bacon for breakfast. I can still smell that meal cooking! I am excited to try making some of her recipes in the future, especially her homemade pierogi (with mashed potatoes in the dough) and her sauerkraut. My dad has also requested a cheese pie that she used to make for his birthday every year, so I am hoping my aunt has that recipe as well. I can't explain how blessed I feel by this new found connection with my grandma.

Tomorrow I plan to get back on top of everything and evaluate the kitchen for the upcoming week. I know we will need to make at least one more quick trip to the grocery store for a few things. I am still on target to stay at or just below my budget for the month though. Doing this 3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days series with Joy and Toni has been such fun. I've learned a lot from both of them, and I've also learned quite a bit about my own kitchen and eating habits. I am finding some areas that need improvement and others where I can relax a little bit. I hope to go into more detail with those things throughout the rest of this month. I am so excited to read what other adventures Toni and Joy are up to as well. Don't forget to check out their blogs also!


Nancy 8:37 AM  

Welcome home. Glad you're back!

Laura 5:36 PM  

I'm so glad you were able to go...and that your husband did such a great job holding down the fort while you were gone!! Hope you can rest up for your travels!

I love it that you learned new things about your grandma and how you relate to her. I feel that way about my grandma...I cook an awful lot like she did too!! And it makes me so happy! (So, I understand what you're saying!)

Oh, and my grandma had red hots and cookies too! How sweet!

Michele 7:55 PM  

Welcome home, Kate! :) It sounds like your grandma was a real sweetie; what a blessing that you were able to attend the funeral.
Michele :)

Candace 9:04 PM  

Hi Kate,
I'm glad that you were able to attend your Grandma's funeral. It sounds like she was a very special lady.
Welcome home:)

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