I grew up on a dairy farm.
This meant, my parents had to work (milk the cows) every day starting by four o’clock. When we, my brother and sister and I, were in grade-school we got home from school around three o’clock every day. Which meant dinner time was basically three to four in the afternoon, so shortly after we arrived home from school.
We would walk in the door, fling our backpacks, and holler, “what’s for dinner?” You know, as most kids do when they’re hungry. After Mom informed us of the meal being cooked, no matter what it was, our response was “Ew, Yuck.” After days, possibly weeks, of the ew, yuck response, Mom switched to informing us that dinner was, in fact, “Ew, Yuck.”
So, every day, we’d arrive home, holler, “what’s for dinner?” and Mom would say, “Ew, Yuck. It’s what’s for dinner.”
Now, my mom would not claim to be the best cook in the world, but she kept her family well fed and as happy as we could be. She has always tried to keep track of what our current tastes or favorites are and aren’t, and tailor meals appropriately.
As most people are aware, casserole dishes are wonderful, pretty easy, pretty fast, and pretty scrumptious. However, they are not always pretty pretty. They can sometimes embody the “ew, yuck” persona. Mom once made Chicken Divan, and true to her nature, tailored the recipe to both our tastes and hers.
Thereby, becoming our family’s “Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Stuff”
Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Stuff is my favorite food. It’s my favorite comfort food. It’s my favorite, “I should take a food to someone else,” food. It’s my favorite “what do we eat, we have nothing to eat this week,” food. It’s. My. Favorite. Food.
So to the Moms (Aunts, Grandmas, Dads, Uncles, Grandpas, etc) out there, keep making “Ew, Yuck” for dinner. You never know when that ew, yuck might just become their favorite food later in life.
On the flipside, there is something that no one in my family can resist. Summer Mint Tea. Of course, all variations of mint tea in the summer are acceptable. Sun Mint Tea, Sweet Mint Tea (unsweet tea if you’re some people). Hot mint tea. Cold mint tea. Mint tea by the cup. Mint tea by the pitcher. Mint tea made by mom. Mint tea made by aunt. Mint tea made by you. Just, mint tea.
And of course, there are different plant varieties of mint tea. Our favorite is Kentucky Colonel Mint Tea (or just mint tea in our family).
At the beginning of this summer, when I convinced Adam to take me plant shopping for gardening and landscaping, I bought a little Kentucky Colonel Mint plant. I plopped it in the ground almost right out the front door. My family kept trying to tell me, “you’ve gotta put it in a pot or it will take over,” but that is my goal. I plan on encouraging it to keep growing and I’ll let it take over everywhere.
But then I ran into a glitch. Every time I tried to make mint tea, it did not come out like mom’s, or my aunt’s, or my grandmother’s. It just wasn’t right. Until my mom, walked me through it, step by step. And now I’ve, sort of, perfected the art of making pitchers of mint tea.
And, Oh, but I have definitely perfected the art of drinking an entire pitcher of mint tea by myself.