Traditions: Or I guess maybe you could call them habits, good habits.
Repeatable, because well; just because that is how it has always been done. Established because of some event, that possibly marked a moment in life. Sometimes life changes and your traditions change with them. Hopefully if your tradition evolves around food you maintain at least the menu. Just yesterday as my wife and I walked around the block, we discussed the challenges of a growing changing family who some of which now have their own family’s and additional extended family’s, and the effort they go through to be involved in the addition of someone else’s tradition.
The last time I counted there were 365 days in a year. So why do we pressure ourselves up with the holidays and the habitual demand of a holiday party or diner? I guess you could justify it as “tis the season”. But I think we are going to work to spread the time period a bit in our future. That, in our minds; we concluded would be better than giving a tradition up all together as the coordination of them becomes more difficult.
This thought process was stirred last Monday when a landowner who’s place I hunt turkey on called and ask us to dinner, that evening. It was a cold crisp night. The farm is nestled away from the commotion of civilization in the mouth of a canyon. As you drive into the place you could “see” the song “Jingle Bells” and hear it in your head.
The dry warmth of a wood burning stove greeted us as we stepped through the door.
This was the kind of stove and oven that folks used to cook with and it brought back memories of my grandfathers home and the many winter nights we spent there visiting him. This Monarch stove they still use, and I think how special it must be to have that options, and particularly because he was raised in this home, and also raised his family here.
My friend was eager to show me his new Dutch Oven and how much better it accommodated one of his home grown chickens.
The original Grizwald Chicken pot was now home to the side dishes of hand raised carrots and potatoes.
His carrots were still in the ground at 9 degrees F outside temperature. He covers them with a blanket of leaves and straw and harvests them through out the winter. Another one of the “older traditions” not given up to the convenience of a store. The quality of the food was 5 star. With the Apricot glazed chicken being the focus of attention. The bones and juices were saved for a noodle broth for a meal later in the week. Homemade bread, cold slaw, and my wifes chocolate pie rounded out the evening meal.
On our ride home we reflected on the mis-fortune of how some of the rest of the nation has to live. I just can’t imagine getting up every morning to concrete and vehicle noise. Looking out the window at more windows and a city sky line vs a mountain ridge. Having the same morning ritual, (and I like Star Bucks on occasion) on the way to a cubical and computer screen where all you do all day is count “beans”. Then home to no one, and to make matters worse….a TV diner!
And well…..it can always be worse. So let us be thankful for what we have. In many ways I’m thankful for what I don’t have.
Take time not only during this season but through out the rest of the year and use food as an excuse to build a tradition.