I have to admit; when I woke up this morning I didn’t really feel like writing. I’ve started three different posts now and saved them for later. I’ve searched through my “recipes to post” folders, not finding one that calls out to me to share today. I’ve scanned notes, ideas, and scraps of paper, trying so hard to find something inspiring to post. Sometimes, in times like these, it’s all about the little things. Like a really big cookie.
I left my computer for awhile and went to pick our garden with my youngest. Beans, tomatoes, green peppers, corn, and 5 varieties of hot peppers later, we come back home. They are currently all out in the mudroom waiting to be cleaned, washed, cut, prepped, and frozen or put away. Since we’re having Zesty Fish Tacos tonight, a nice fresh salsa will be a perfect addition to our meal. The beans and corn are wonderful to take out of the freezer in the middle of winter, and the tomatoes work so well in my husband’s chili recipe.
When I came back to my computer, prior to being in the kitchen for the next few hours taking care of all this, I began to think of the little things. Those token words, thoughts, and actions that put a smile on your face. Like when you pull a bag of green beans out of the freezer that you had picked the summer before and all the kids reminisce about sitting in the kitchen for 4 hours helping to wash and prep the beans for blanching. That inspired me. So while it’s not sharing a new recipe, it’s sharing a deeper side of me. Here are some of my “little things”:
- It’s not often we sit at our dining room table to eat dinner; we have a nice big breakfast bar in our kitchen and a huge table out on our porch. Everyone prefers to sit at one of these rather than the dining room table. When we do sit at our table, I’m hurrying to get the meal on the table and everyone set – I’m always the last to sit down and start eating.
My oldest daughter ALWAYS waits until I sit down to start eating. A little gesture that means so much.
- As the meal planner in the household, I am always choosing what we’ll eat for dinner. There are days when I really dread having to make that decision – I’d just really like to have someone tell me what to make. On these days I may ask my husband or the kids what to make.
They make a suggestion that I didn’t think of and make the decision for me. A few little words that helped me out.
- There are some days when we can’t decide if we should just eat out or make something at home. We rarely eat out anymore, and I remember the first time one of the kids said “It tastes better when you make it at home anyway – let’s just stay here and cook.”
When we’re deciding between a restaurant and home, I often hear how my cooking is better than anything we could get in a restaurant. A little statement that makes me smile.
- When it comes to our meals, I generally take the lead. I do the prepping, the cooking, the serving, and the cleanup. My sister in law has a family rule that is the opposite – if you cook, you do not have to do any of the cleanup.
Once in a while, my family puts this rule into place and forces me to sit down and relax while they cleanup after dinner. The little actions that warm my heart.
- We entertain quite a bit. Our friends love coming over for dinner and I love to cook, so it’s sort of a win-win situation. As we all know, entertaining adds extra work – more food, extra dishes, more cleanup. My family has learned over the years exactly what they need to do to help me out in preparation for entertaining guests. They know what I want and need before, during, and after the festivities.
The things they remember makes my life so much easier. Their tiny actions mean more than they know.
- Then there’s all the other little things: my daughter saying our house is like a really good restaurant with some bedrooms, the memories we make baking and cooking in our kitchen, my kids learning early how to really cook, my nephew claiming he’d drive 4 hours just for my Veggie Spring Rolls, friends asking for recipes, our Non-Traditional Christmas Dinners growing in size year after year.
All of these little things just make me smile.
There are days that you should stop, breathe, smile, and think of the little things. Life can be so chaotic. We rush here, we hustle through dinner, we get caught up in day to day, week to week, month after month and often pass by all the little things. But for me, it’s the little things that really count – the little things that truly matter.
Now it’s time to freeze some beans and make some salsa.