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J. R. R. Tolkien wrote “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Thorin speaks these words to Bilbo in the book “The Hobbit” as a way of apologizing for looking down on Bilbo’s simple way of life. Because Hobbits, after all, love food and drink. They enjoy the simple things. Laughter and celebration, as well as peace and quiet and “good tilled earth.” My family’s love of food is much like Hobbits.
Our family’s love of food goes back to the day’s when my husband and I were dating. There wasn’t much to do in rural Iowa, but we had 2 favorite restaurants we visited during our weekends together. We grew up with family’s who had dinner together every night, it is the midwest after all. Family dinner was common place before the days of over scheduled kids and parents. Food made from the heart, nothing grand or extravagant. We both had grandmothers who were excellent cooks. I knew I got this housewife gene from somewhere 😉 To this day, any gathering with extended family centers around food.
I entered college, we got engaged, and we moved in together. Now we suddenly had all the more eateries to visit, and we discovered our love of cooking! Then we were married, and moved in with family friends. Those were some memorable days gathered around the family table talking, laughing, and eating. A simple meal is the best gift you can give when you are broke and newly married.
We had monthly dinner parties with friends, who were also newlyweds. We would come together from near and far to enjoy each other’s company and eat a meal together. Some people partied in college, we wined and dined and played games. And gossiped, because ya know, girls.
As all of us graduated and moved even further apart, our monthly dinners stopped, but we have still kept on eating. During our yearly get-together, the first question we ask is, “What will be having to eat?” Pizza, brisket, soup, sandwiches, cookies, drinks, oh my all the drinks. We feast through the weekend and dread going back to real life. All of us would rather stay in our Hobbit-ranch thankyouverymuch!
As our family grew from 2 to 4 over the years, we share our love of food with our 2 daughters. They still scoff at certain things, but we make meal time a warm and inviting experience. Making food with those you love and sharing it will your family. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Because that is what we wanted, a simple life to share with our family.
Food and family. It is our passion in many ways. It’s a simple gift we can give our children. A simple token to others. A way to spend time together. Creating memories like our Christmas tradition and Papa’s cheesy pasta, or mama’s amazing chocolate chip cookies. We don’t have much to give our children in the way of possessions, but we do have food and drink and “good tilled earth.” Passing on the love of food and family, gathering with kith and kin, enjoying the moment and memories with others.