Monday, July 28, 2008

The Inheritance

I come from a long line of homemakers and I am so thankful that I have inherited a love for taking care of my family in such tangible way. It began with my great-grandmother who passed away when I was a little girl, who loved to sew (it probably began before her, but she is who I remember). In fact, my mom tells stories about how she made all of her clothes growing up. She even made her wedding dress, the same one that my sister wore in her wedding.

Then there is my grandmother, Nana. She passed away in 1996 but she left a strong legacy behind. I can still envision the inside of the kitchen cupboard where she had an envelope taped to the inside that had handwritten recipes in it. For me, it was the pies. Cherry in particular! Nana also had an eye for style. Even at night she was dressed impeccably, with a matching silk nightgown and robe. It's from her that I get my love of shoes!

My mom sews and quilts now. She can pretty much make anything--curtains (when I have the big reveal on my kitchen, you'll get to see her handiwork in my windows!), quilts, pillows, bags, purses, make-up bags, anything and everything that has to do with fabric. She's also a pretty mean baker. At Christmas, watch's cookies galore. Every year she pulls out the same tins she has been using since I was little to store the cookies in. She even bakes the same kinds of cookies each year with a few new ones too. It is such a sweet memory.

Next comes Christy. Christy knows how to pull it all together. You walk into her home and want to kick your shoes off, sit down with the cookies she just baked and just relax. I always feel at home when I am at her house. Not because she is my sister and it would only be normal for me to feel that way, but because she really can make everything come together. Her one flaw...she moves her furniture around a lot. I am going to visit her this weekend and I can guarantee that the way it was at Christmas is not the way it is going to be when I am arrive on Thursday. I guess that "flaw" is actually a gift. My furniture will likely stay in the same place for the next 30 years. I don't like change.

Finally, it's comes down to me. It really wasn't until I moved away from home that I got the "Susie Homemaker" bug. And it didn't kick into full gear until I met Mike. To all of the single gals out's true...the way to a man's heart IS through his stomach. Cookies were baked and meals were made. I realized that even as much as I loved doing it for him, I loved doing it for me. With the baking, there is a sense of gladness when I pull out the last try of cookies from the oven and put them on a plate for someone to enjoy. With cooking, it is the experimenting with something new and waiting to see what rating Mike will give it (it's a 1-10 scale and so far there has only been one dish below 7--turns out he doesn't like a fancied up tuna casserole).

I love it. I guess it's my way of showing love. I don't do it out of obligation because I am a wife and that's "my job." I do it because God blessed with me with wonderful women in my life who set the example for me on what it looks like for me to take care of my family. It's not about if you work in your home or work outside the home, because all of these women in my life have done both, in fact I work. It's not about doing and fulfulling the needs of others either. It's also not about if you can cook, sew, bake or decorate either. What is it about then? It's about serving those around you and showing them in a tangible way how much you love them and care for them. Whatever your gifting might be.

This one got an 8 last night. Mike said that if there was meat it would have been a 9. Italian sausage or shrimp would be good. Anything 8 or over gets on the "make again" list.

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
1 12 oz. package dried pasta (any kind you like, I used spaghetti)
4 large tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used shaved Parmesan)

1. cook pasta according to directions
2. Meanwhile, combine tomato and next 5 ingredients. Drain pasta and place in large serving bowl. Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with olives and cheese. Makes 6 servings

And for dessert, you can't go wrong with No Bake Cookies...always a 10! YUMMO!


Shannon said...

I would cook so much more if my husband wasn't so picky!!! You are very lucky to have someone you can try out receipes on. Cody is a meat and potatos kind of guy. As bland as can be. Which would be fine but I don't really like meat and I do not like any type of potatos. :) We are a pair!

Katie said...

So sweet! I loved reading about all the women who inspire you in your family! They sound like true ladies. Your words on this post are practically identical to the way I feel about homemaking! I have friends who tease me about the way I do things, but I tell them all the time that I do the things I do because I love to and want to, because that's how I show my family love (like you said, in a "tangible" way), not because I'm supposed to or because I am trying to be a superior homemaker. I just want to make our life as beautiful as possible. That is so funny that y'all have "The Scale"...that is exactly what we do. When I set a new meal on the table, I ask "What do you give it?" Hahahaha!

Christy said...

FYI... My furniture hasn't moved, HA! That's only because I'm waiting for my new furniture to arrive though. You know me well. We do have some sweet and special memories don't we? It is about the little things. I am so proud of you Sarah! As far as I'm concerned you make the best chocolate chip cookies ever!!!

Blissful Nikki said...

Gosh, we are so the same person! lol (Except I like change!) I feel like I owe my going to culinary school to my mom and grandmother who always wanted me to cook for them, and taught me how. Now I just need to hook a man so I can feed him! hehe

Elise said...

What a neat story!! And that recipe is going on my 'must-try' list.
I posted a tassel tutorial on my blog. Come check it out.

Joy said...

Okay, now I'm hungry! I wish I had someone to cook that for me. I'd give it a 10!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I am enjoying reading your blog and the projects are great. We installed hardwood floors last year, and was quite a task. I know about those transition pieces they had to order ours and they were very expensive. That little stool is so cute now. As always I look forward to stopping in.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

I love reading what you write! I get visuals in my head like I am reading a book! I know how you feel about homemaking...I have sweet memories of my Mom in particular...who still bakes a mean pie. I have a framed monogram I did over at my blog, if you care to take a peek. I can't wait to see your kitchen redo! cherry

Davene said...

Hi, Sarah!

I read through your sister's blog last night, so had to pop over here, too. :) What a beautiful site you have!

I printed out this recipe and will try it for our dinner tonight. Thanks!

Jen@The Cottage Nest said...

I love the way you view your love of homemaking. I feel the same way. I think women are coming full circle with their thinking these days.