Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

August 10, 2009

Grandma's Kitchen: Love around the table

Also, mind your sodium by reading labels

I've really enjoyed some good times and great food around the family tables this week. At the center of it all was the joy of eating and talking with the people I love.

Anyone who lives alone will quickly tell you that one of the hardest parts is eating solo. Last night there were four generations of us, from age 2 to 83 around the table.

The beautiful words of Henry Harrison Murray flooded my mind and misted my eyes: "Touch hands ... strong hands to weak ... old hands to young ... around the Christmas board .. touch hands."

The calendar might not say Christmas but the spirit was certainly present.

It was so much fun watching our two little ones enjoying their food. Gus, 5, eats like an old pro, neat and clean, and takes time-outs to join in the table conversations. Sis, 2, is developing her own style of moving her food from the plate to her mouth. I love her technique. She scoops the food up in her spoon, then dumps it into her empty hand, which obediently puts it into her mouth like a little machine.

Being 2, she does all of this while asking questions a mile-a-minute, and you'd better not skip any details. I love her reaction to my answers -- she rolls her eyes and purses her lips while she processes the information, and often answers with another question. It is fascinating to watch their minds work, I'm firmly convinced they are far smarter than we give them credit for. I've learned so much from our grands and great-grands.

For dessert this night we had a Gus Special. He loves mint and chocolate together, so I made a dark chocolate brownie torte, filled with mint-chocolate-chunk ice cream. It takes no time to put together -- I've spent half a day on desserts that weren't nearly so good. It was a good finale to a great dinner.

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