I have been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog, and on the occasion of Thanksgiving, I want to spend a little time focusing on some of the things I’m grateful for in this life. I was so happy to hear from my Aunt Lucille Thursday morning – she and my and Aunt Selina, who I talked to later that morning, are the last two living members of my mom’s side of the family. It put a smile on my face to hear those familiar tones in my Aunts’ voices, bringing back fond memories of my mother on this holiday. As I was cooking during the day, I couldn’t help but remember learning how to cook in our kitchen in Spokane. A friend and I were posting on Facebook the other day about our mothers’ cookware that we still use, much of it more than 50 or 60 years old. I’m still using the cast iron skillet that I used more than 40 years ago…and the broth made from the giblets cooked slowly in my mother’s crockpot. I used the techniques my mother taught me to make my apple pie. We had an apple tree in our backyard that was grafted to produce three different types of apples. I grew up making lots of apple pies, apple sauce, and I learned to use our first microwave to make baked apples.
I’m thankful that I had a mother who taught me how to cook and passed on her wonderful cookware (they don’t make them like they used to). I’m glad I can pass on to my boys all the things I learned and I hope they will some day pass them on to their children
Food is so central to our lives. It is not just a way to nourish ourselves, it is a means of passing on family and cultural traditions. As I share these traditions with friends, I smile as they rave about my mom’s mashed sweet potatoes (with the marshmallows on top!), and the pan gravy made from the giblets. I’ve had to add to the traditions as I learn how to make gluten-free cornbread dressing and pie crust.
I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and leave you with one of my favorite photos from this past summer – I give thanks for our wonderful national parks!

Rocky Mountain evening

A beautiful evening along a hiking trail in Rocky Mountain National Park