in the kitchen.

today's post is pretty much completely inspired by melisa's post on the lil bee.

it got me thinking about growing up, about falling in love with food, and the excitement i feel when i sit down to dinner and think -- oh wow. i made this, and it's stinkin good.

mind you, this does not happen every night. i've also had my fair share of -- wow, this has way too much _____. or -- wow, i'm sorry peter. i thought this would be better. or...[you get the idea...]

anyway, there are a few kitchen traditions i've been privy to over the years.

any and every time i visited my grandma and pappap as a kid my grandma spent a large portion of her time in the kitchen. over the years i helped her bake about a million different kinds of cookies. and at christmas and thanksgiving she would break out old sherbet containers filled to the brim with all the different types. she'd bring up the 3+ flavors of ice cream hidden in the downstairs freezer, and present at least 2 or 3 different types of pie and/or cake. at their house dessert was always my favorite part of the meal.

my grammy on the other hand, did not spend most of her time in the kitchen. but every christmas, without fail, she made orange cookies. and when she got too old to make them herself, she supervised the process. now, i make orange cookies every christmas, as a tribute of deliciousness.

with grammy sharing a meal was more about the people than the meal itself. the atmosphere with her was always so enjoyable that the food tasted better just by virtue of the people surrounding it. grammy also taught me about the importance of coffee, reese's cups, oreos, spoonfuls of peanut butter, and in her last days - broccoli cheddar soup.

Source: via Marisa on Pinterest

one of my favorite recipes of all time comes from my great-grandma. i never met her, but great-grandma logan's spice cake recipe has been one of my favorites for as long as i can remember. despite the fact that my birthday is in may, there was many a year when my non-season-appropriate request for birthday cake was great-grandma's spice cake.

Source: via Mandy on Pinterest

i served said spice cake the first time we invited peter's whole family over for dinner, and used the good china. a slice of that, alongside a steaming mug of coffee is one of the best desserts ever.

then there's my mom's tradition of baking cinnamon rolls on thanksgiving morning. when we were little my big brother and i used to sleep on the sleeper sofa the night before thanksgiving. we'd wake up slightly before nine o'clock to the smell of cinnamon rolls wafting upstairs. we'd turn the tv on to the macy's thanksgiving day parade and watch the whole thing, consuming many, many cinnamon rolls, and large glasses of milk along the way.

my dad taught me all about garlic shells, french bread pizzas, colby cheese, 'nila wafers, vanilla ice cream, and meat. in fact, when i tried my first ever piece of venison it was courtesy of my dad. he didn't think i would try it if i knew it was venison, so he told me it was a new kind of bologna. only after i told him i liked it did he reveal what it really was.

my discovery of the enjoyment of cooking didn't really come until peter and i started dating, and most of it has been since we got married.

it has been encouraged by peter [especially after a few rough dinners when we first got married], his sister, his mom, and my sister-in-law.

peter's sister and i now have a tradition of baking the thanksgiving pies a few days before heading up to celebrate with their family. his mom's lasagna recipe has become a mainstay in my repertoire - especially for big group dinners. and more than a few of my sister-in-law's recipes are part of our regular rotation. in fact we're having chicken enchiladas tonight.

we have a few kitchen traditions ourselves. one of them is to make a big elaborate christmas breakfast for the two of us. peter is a fantastic breakfast chef, and some of my favorite mornings are when we collaborate to make more breakfast than any two people could possibly eat. one of our more recent discoveries is banana pancakes. so so good.

cooking [and baking too] has become a comfort for me. there have been many days, especially over the past few years, when we've had nothing going on so i've decided to try making something i've never made before.

i'll make cupcakes just because i feel like it. or lemon squares. or marshmallows. or buffalo chicken dip. i'll make a big pot of soup, or risotto, or try my hand at pizza.

i like making things just because. i like making an everyday day special by adding something extra.

what are your favorite
kitchen traditions?


  1. You totally got me in the mood for enchiladas! Thanks for the inspiration! - S


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