Communal Cooking

Last week, I took an unexpected trip to Goshen to help our my daughter who had been hospitalized.  After making arrangements for things at church, I threw things in a suitcase and boarded a plane and finally made it to Goshen.

The first thing on my agenda after visiting my daughter in the hospital was to take care of everything at the house.  There is nothing worse than being sick and having three small boys at home and a husband who was doing everything he could to juggle everything.  She also has wonderful in-laws that were pitching in to make sure the boys were cared for in her absence.

Sometimes, you just need your mom.  She asked and I went.  Didn’t think twice.  Friday I cleaned house, she returned home and the boys were thrilled.  Now it was time to think about cooking.  A household of five needs food and even though the boys are 6, 4 and 3 they eat a lot!

First thing Friday morning we started with coffee, Grandma’s special coffee.



Coffee is made with 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of sweetened ground chocolate, a bit of hot coffee to blend it and then filled with hot milk, usually two cups are necessary for a long day.  Following coffee, we cleaned house and then in the afternoon we prepared supper.  They decided that spaghetti and meatballs was on the menu.

Middle son Cai is gluten intolerant, so we we made gluten free meatballs and then cooked the gluten free pasta.  It was wonderful!  The younger two helped with the meatball mixture….but didn’t want to get their hands dirty!

On Saturday, we went to the Goshen Farmer’s Market.  We ate at Rachel’s Bread for breakfast.


The market is marvelous.  i picked up lovely asparagus, lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.  So beautiful, so tasty and ready to make wonderful food.  That evening, my middle grandson, Cai, cooked together.



We took some of the lovely vegetables from the market and stir fried them and served them with brown rice.  Cai loved it!  With my help, he had his first lesson in using a knife to cut vegetables.  He is only 4, but did a great job with some assistance.  The most fun was firing up the stove and adding the vegetables one by one.



I believe some of the best cooking is communal.  Sharing the tasks of preparation, cooking, and serving creates a space for love and grace.  We smelled the vegetables as we were chopping and then cooking them, smelled the combinations as they sizzled together.  When it was all done we added a sauce and watched it thicken.

Finally of course, one sits down a the table.  We said grace, then passed around the rice and stir fried vegetables.  The family ate, laughed and enjoyed each other.  I watched Cai dig into what he had created and ate and ate and ate.  The food was fresh, crisp, and tasted good.

I am reminded at moments like these that life is good.  I was grateful for the time to be able to take care of my daughter, her family and to create meals with my grandsons and to freeze some for the future.  Sharing that time, that food with family, was wonderful.  Cooking with my grandson, was priceless.