Displaying items by tag: John Reardon
Hello my Foodie Friends!
It is summer and we are experiencing the wealth of warmer temperatures. With the soaring temperatures, we are left wondering about how to meet the hydration requirements (especially for our children) from the food and drinks we consume. Not everything that children like to have in summer is necessarily hydrating, nourishing and immunity-building. To cruise through the summer heat and loss of fluids and essential nutrients, seasonal fruits are a recommendation. Especially, when taking long trips or hanging out in your flip-flops. Eating summer fruits can be a healthy way to keep your body cool and additionally get all the goodness of nature.
As I think back on my childhood memories and raising my own children, the challenge was to keep as much fruit in the house as a go to for all of us. One fruit that has always been one of my favorites are cherries. I can remember the sheer joy of seeing my mom bringing a heaping bowl of bright red cherries to the table. We now know that eating cherries as a part of a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables may provide health benefits. Cherries are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Cherries are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Summer is cherry season time, and that means time for cherry pie, cherry crumble, cherry cobbler, cherry preserves, cherry sauce to drizzle over vanilla ice cream; you get the idea. But before you break out your baking dish and turn on your oven, you will need to remove the pits of these sweet ruddy fruits. A good cherry pitter that removes the stone and leaves the fruit intact can be a cook’s best friend this time of year. We carry an assortment of cherry pitters. One fun one that your children may love is the blossom cherry pitter by JOIE.
Use a cherry pitter to help you with taking the pits out. It will make your life easier. At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we carry cherry and olive pitters that can quickly and easily remove pits from cherries and olives without bruising or crushing fruit or waste fruit. They are perfect for canning, freezing, dehydrating and baking cherries. You can freeze sweet cherries to enjoy in baked goods, smoothies, and sauces throughout the year. Simply rinse the cherries with cool water and remove the stem. Pitting them is your choice. They’ll lose some juice, but they’re easier to pop into a recipe later if they’re frozen sans pit. Once the cherries have been pitted, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer overnight to freeze. After they’re completely frozen, put them in an airtight container or freezer bag to store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. You won’t even need to thaw them before using them.
So kick back and enjoy those delicious summer fruits that are available. Cherry-ish the time you have with your family while of course, savoring your own bowl full of sweet, juicy cherries—it’s a treat you can feel good about!
Remember Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
This 4th of July weekend celebration will include attending fireworks, parades, barbeques, carnivals, picnics, baseball games, and family gatherings. The Fourth of July is more than just a celebration of summertime — it’s a time to celebrate our freedom and how far we have come. Many families will be hosting or attending an outside event or taking advantage of the long weekend activities.
Fireworks have always been one of my favorite parts of celebrating our national holiday. Sitting in a chair and watching the spectacular color displayed is so exciting to me. As I reminisce about my childhood, there is one particular 4th of July that stands out. I love to tell my decades old story of when my two other brothers and our neighborhood buddies had acquired some fire crackers to add to our evening fun. After the firework show had ended at our local park, we still had the need to entertain ourselves and sustain the celebration. My parents were not aware that a group of us “spirited” boys still had unused fireworks in our possession. Our friends provided the fireworks and my brothers and I were given the task of getting a pan to cover the fire crackers with. I gave this “heroic” opportunity to my youngest brother instructing on spy-like maneuvers to quietly get the pan past my mother. Looking back, I am not sure how we actually were able to pull it off getting it past her. We found a quiet corner in our yard to set up. Anxiously, we lit several fire crackers and put a pan on top of them. Well, that pan shot so high in the sky, it landed in my father’s favorite red maple tree and stayed there until the following winter. One winter afternoon my father was looking out the kitchen window wondering what was lodged in his tree. Getting the pan down was an event in itself. However, cleaning it was another. In an attempt to teach the three of us adorable boys a lesson, we were ordered to get the pan back to its “original” shape and color. We never did get that pan back to its normal shape!!
Outdoor gatherings were always something I looked forward to, especially when looking at the vast number of dishes and desserts that will be spread out. Whether it is a picnic gathering, or a simple picnic at the park, no feast would be complete without a sweet treat at the end. A simple way to satisfy the sweet tooth, is with a fruit-ladened tart. It is a wonderful treat to add with wine or even a cup of tea. Fresh fruit tarts are a beautiful way to present a dessert. The secret lies in the pan that the tart is baked in. A tart pan has low, fluted sides with a removable bottom. The design of the pan allows for a better conduction of heat making a more uniform baked crust. The removable bottom enables you to remove the finished product by easily placing your hand beneath the bottom, and letting the outer ring fall. Tart pans come in a number of sizes to suit whatever you are making. They are also known as quiche pans.
Ahhh…I love summer. Being outdoors and enjoying fun times with family and friends (safely) creates those memories that last a lifetime. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, to pick up the tools you need to make your weekend an enjoyable one! Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” Happy Fourth of July.
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
School has ended and it’s time for many to be spending more time with the family. Summertime offers us the time to do a broader range of activities. Even though people are often busy all year long, they are usually a little bit less stressed during the summer compared to other times of the year. Children do not have to go to school during the summer, and adults who have to go to work do not need to work as many hours during the summer as they do during the rest of the year. This means that family members may be more willing to hang out with you and to talk about things that both you and your family are interested in. Many people take advantage of these facts to get to know their families more closely and by scheduling family vacations during summer holidays, or even getting to spend more time with relatives.
Summertime for me as a child often meant getting to spend more time with my cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Family get-togethers were a time to share stories and photos from the past, to talk about those who were no longer here, and to give us young ones a sense of our family history. Although getting me to come inside from playing outdoors was quite a feat, I did love spending time with my mother and my aunts watching them cook and bake up a storm for the outdoor family gatherings. I always liked baking with them, when they were not trying to get me out of the kitchen!
One item that was my favorite to help them with and to eat was making baked donuts. My mother’s baked donuts were always a hit at the family picnics. The evidence of the popularity of her donuts could often be found in my pockets and the pockets of my brothers, and cousins, as we would swiftly grab them from the table to ensure we did not lose out on getting our fill.
So, why are baked donuts still so popular? They are extremely easy to make. No fancy ingredients are needed and it comes together as easily as a cupcake. Both the mixing process as well as the baking process is very simple even if you are a beginner in the kitchen. The trickiest part is glazing the donuts but if you follow a few simple rules and pay attention to the temperatures, you will be able make beautifully glazed donuts every time going forward. Another reason to bake donuts is that they are quick to make. Compared to yeast-based donuts, baked donuts can be made much quicker. Once you mix the ingredients you can proceed with baking, no need to wait for the yeast to get activated. Making donuts also allows your family and friends to create the type of donut and topping they want. They can add one topping or add them all! It can be their own creation. Oh course, the best part is eating them.
An essential tool to help you make your baked donuts is a donut pan. You can make half or full dozen donuts in the pan. Donut shaped pans are made to assist you in creating individual full-sized donuts. No rolling, cutting, or deep frying is needed. With a donut pan, you get perfectly shaped donuts with holes in the center. Just pour the batter into the wells, and pop them into the oven.
This summer, remember that life is a collection of memories. It is the cherished memories that stand out and give us a history to our lives. Good memories can happen anywhere. Over the years, I have discovered that one of the best places to make lasting family traditions is in the kitchen. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, to get the donut pans and supplies you need to bake your favorite creations. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
This weekend is Father’s Day. Not sure what to get dad since he already has a bazillion ties? A home cooked meal with some of their favorite foods is a great way to kick things off. How about cooking something special for him? Many of us have been lucky enough to grow up with dads who love to cook, who have mastered crème brûlée or grilling or taught us to make perfect rice. Others have dads who just love to eat, who will dig into a shared plate happily and are always ready to share a meal. This Sunday, we’ll honor all of them, maybe with pancakes or a special dinner or a thoughtful food-related gift. In preparing that special meal, there may be some cool culinary tools you need to help.
Among my favorite gifts to receive on Father’s Day are tickets to a Yankee’s baseball game. Since my daughter’s birthday often times falls on the same day, we both enjoy the gift of watching a game to celebrate. Growing up in Connecticut, our family and friends were split several ways with teams they loved - Yankees, Red Sox, and the Mets. My family was always for the Yankee’s. Our children grew up watching players like the 1998 Yankee team and Derek Jeter through his baseball career. However, I do love watching a game at Fenway Park in Boston and then walking the streets of Boston to have a beer at the Baseball Tavern on Boylston Street or at the Bleacher Bar. My heart still belongs to Yankee Stadium though. So many years of game watching was done in the old stadium. Baseball tugs at the thoughts and emotions of every fan. Our family loves baseball. We are entrenched with baseball history and every aspect the game has to offer. I draw upon the history of the game and the iconic men who helped make MLB what it is today: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Young, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson and many, many more. I am amazed at the power of hitters like Yankee’s slugger Aaron Judge, who make us stop and watch every at-bat. There’s nothing better than seeing Judge step into the batter’s box and attack a pitcher . . . especially when he connects for a 500-foot blast.
Besides baseball, we have a perfect gift for Dad this Father’s Day! A Dutch oven is a great gift to give especially if you have a Dad who loves to cook. You could make the argument that a Dutch oven is the only pot you need in a kitchen. Its heavy, cast iron build holds heat over long periods of cooking with extraordinary consistency. The enamel coating most are covered in eliminates the need for seasoning. The standard size Dutch oven — about 5.5 to 6 quarts — is large enough to cook most dishes for a family of four. Dutch ovens can sear, bake, braise, stew and steam with the best of them.
Currently, we are carrying the limited edition LeCreuset MLB Signature Series 7.25-quart round Dutch oven with the Yankee’s and Red Sox colors and logos. The enameled cast iron Dutch oven is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a tight-fitting lid designed to circulate steam and return moisture back to the food inside, while its side handles are designed for easy lifting. You can use it for slow-cooking, braising, roasting, baking, frying and more, which is one of the reasons it’s worth the investment. Plus, the piece is naturally nonstick and dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean, requires no seasoning and does come with the previously mentioned lifetime warranty.
Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, to treat dad to some cool culinary tools. For Father’s Day, eat together as a family! Relish the memories and show Dad how much you love him. Maybe even sit and watch a baseball game…just for the love of the game. Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
I know it’s a cliché’ but time does go by so quickly. This coming week is our daughter Aubrey’s birthday. It just seems like yesterday we were sitting at the Saratoga Race Track with her sitting on her foldable Barbie chair with a Saratoga umbrella watching the spectacular racing horses walking by. We are blessed to have our daughter still in the Saratoga area serving our community as a doctor of Physical Therapy on the Wesley community campus. To this day, she insists that my wife make her an ice cream cake as part of her birthday celebration. My wife has developed various creations over the years. I have to admit, I do not mind having ice cream cake as our special birthday dessert. I love ice cream as much as I did when I was a kid. Many of us love ice cream. We crave for it during hot summer days, even during the cold northeast winters. It is a wonderful treat to have as we watch movies like “Sleepless in Seattle,” or “When Harry met Sally.” Can you tell I am a fan of Meg Ryan? Ice cream is a sweet treat for all ages. It has been proven that whether you are young or old, you will never outgrow your love for Ice cream. So why do we love ice cream so much? Here are some thoughts:
1. There are so many flavors to choose from. Ice creams are famous because of their flavors.
2. Having a bad day at work or in school? Got dumped or got your heart broken? Eating ice cream helps lighten up one’s mood.
3. It is delicious and refreshing and makes you want more.
4. What’s for dessert? Ice cream is always a sure way to satisfy those dessert yearnings.
5. Ice cream reminds me of when I was a kid screaming for ice cream! “I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!”
One culinary item that my wife relies upon when making her ice cream cake is a spring form pan. Spring form pans are a kitchen essential for producing flawlessly smooth cheesecakes, perfectly crusted tarts, or intricate ice cream cakes without damage to their tops, bottoms, or sides. Meant to eliminate the risks associated with removing cakes from traditional pans, removing your product from the pan is the final step before placing your delicate treats on display, serving to your family or guests, or packaging them to go.
Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place. We have an assortment of spring form pans and accessories to assist with adding that special dessert to your menu.
To our daughter Aubrey:
You give us a thousand reasons to smile every day. We are so proud of the woman you are. Happy Birthday to you, our beautiful daughter!
May love and laughter Light your days And warm your heart and home;
May good and faithful friends be yours Wherever you may roam;
May peace and plenty bless your world With joy that long endures;
May all life’s passing seasons Bring the best to you and yours!
- Traditional Irish Blessing
Although I cannot share Paula’s recipe for her ice cream cake, I have included another fantastic ice cream cake recipe to make
Remember my Food Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
So many of us have cut our hands while washing our knives. I know my wife has (or did) and watched in horror as she held her hand above her head to stop the bleeding. We are faced with the dilemma on how to properly wash our knives. Good knives are the engines of the kitchen. We slice, dice, chop, and cut with them, making them the shining stars of meal prep. While it might be tempting to throw them in the dishwasher, this is not an ideal method for keeping your knives in top shape. Viola Wüsthof, the first female CEO of her family’s knife company Wüsthof and a repository of seven generations worth of knife knowledge, says the biggest misconception about cleaning knives is that they can be washed in the same manner as other kitchen utensils. “A dishwasher can be detrimental to the quality of your knife,” she says. “They are often too abrasive and based on the type of detergent used, the process can cause rust or corrosion.” Think of your knives as investment pieces for your kitchen, a little sweat equity is a small price to pay to keep your tools in working order. Knives should not be put into the sink until you are ready to clean them. You want to prevent any contact from other dishes or pots and pans going into the sink. This helps to prevent blade damage. Placing blades in your dishwater can also be dangerous as you can’t see what’s beneath the water. You don’t want to get injured. All knives, regardless of blade or handle material, should be hand washed in warm water, rinsed, and immediately dried.
Cleaning sharp knives and cutlery can be a hazardous task, but there is an innovative washing-up brush that makes it easier. The knife cleaning brush by Joseph Joseph helps you to clean sharp blades safely. The brush has a unique, wrap-around design that cleans both sides at once. The brush is designed with opposed bristles for effective cleaning, has a textured hand-grip, and is easy to store. You can also use this brush to wipe food off forks, spoons, and butter knives. Just get it soapy and pull the blade through a few times. Your fingers stay protected and the sharp blade gets brushed clean.
This brush can be a game changer in how you properly clean and take care of your knives. Good knives need to be looked after. This means that you need to use, clean, sharpen and store them properly. If you take good care of your knives they will continue to amaze you time and time again. We advise you to always wash your kitchen knives by hand, even if the supplier states that the knife is dishwasher proof. A knife with a wooden handle will visibly get damaged and a riveted handle will eventually tear at the rivets. In addition, the handle can break because of the heat. Aggressive detergents can cause irreparable damage to your knife. Detergent can af-fect hardened steel and plastics and can leave specs of rust on the blade and leave you with dull handles.
Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store to get those game changing gadgets that help make life easier and safer in the kitchen. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
This is Memorial Day weekend! Hopefully, the weather will cooperate so we can have our outdoor picnics to celebrate the holiday. I am so happy to see the sun and the warmer temperatures. The season between Memorial Day and Labor Day brings the opportunity to host many outside events. Having a picnic with family and friends on a beautiful day can be a time that creates those unforgettable moments and memories that last a lifetime.
Having or attending a picnic remains one of my favorite things to do during the summer. This stems back to my childhood. As I have mentioned in past articles, I am one of five children. Having two sisters and two brothers always meant that the house was crazy, and my mother would do what she could to keep us outdoors. Picnic time was a word that would stir up excitement and anticipation of having our favorite potato and egg salads, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other fabulous items that our family and friends would bring to the picnic. In fact, insects are so common when dining outdoors, that there are even clichés about ants showing up at a picnic or flies getting stuck in the potato salad. It goes without saying, that you need to come up with ways to protect your food from these unwanted invaders.
One way to do just that is by using mesh screen food cover tents. As you might guess, these are dome-shaped screens that fit over dishes of food on the table. These unique food covers offer quite a few advantages. For one thing, they do a great job of keeping insects away. The holes in the mesh are small enough that they keep even the tiniest bugs from getting through. When you use these covers, you don’t have to worry about shooing insects away from the food table. Instead, you can rest easy knowing that all of your food is safe and secure. At the same time, the covers make it easy for guests to access the food. They are lightweight and easy to move. Grabbing food from un-derneath them is as simple as lifting up the cover and dishing up the food onto a plate. When the guest is done, they can simply replace the cover to protect the dish again. The whole process is incredibly easy.
At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we carry various sizes of food tents. Stop by this weekend to pick up the essentials you will need to assist with your gatherings.
We would like to thank all who have either served or are currently serving our country for your service. My father served in WWII fighting on the beaches of Normandy under General George Patton; my father-in-law served 22 years in the army, training and commanding young recruits in Korea and beyond. Our parents come from a period that is called “the greatest generation.” The stories that both my father and father-in-law have given over the years about their time in the war or in the service, and the stories both my mother and mother-in-law have told, reflect an incredible period of our history.
Just before you’re ready to eat, stop and raise a glass to reflect and cheer all those who have given so much for us. Have a nice weekend and remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
Did you know that May 21 is National Strawberries and Cream Day? We get to celebrate having fresh strawberries and whipped cream. This is one of my favorite desserts and snacks. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. There are so many ways to use strawberries; you can eat them for breakfast and add granola for some texture, drizzle chocolate on them, or make strawberry cream pie or shortcake! Growing up, I lived by a farm that grew strawberries. The last weeks of May would bring the start to some beautifully ripe and delicious strawberries. My mother would load up the five of us with buckets and send us on a journey into the blooming fields. We loved being out in the fields with the warm sunshine and the bright red and green fruits. My two sisters were diligent in looking for the biggest, reddest strawberries. However, my brothers and I preferred to create a “bug competition” looking for the most bugs and different bugs we could find. The other issue was when we did pick the strawberries, it was difficult not to take a bite out of them. My mother would often find our buckets filled with little bites taken from several of the strawberries. I have to admit the best part of the day was eating the strawberries. Getting children involved with gardening and harvesting fruits is a great way to create memories. Being involved with creating a garden or visiting one is a wonderful way to encourage eating fresh garden harvests. Although my mother and grandmother did not have strawberry fields, they did have beautiful vegetable gardens. One of my favorite memories is when my mother would ask us to gather rocks for her garden. Picking out the largest and coolest rock kept us three, highly energized boys busy for hours. Another favorite memory was plucking the fruits of my mother and grandmothers gardens. Snacking on the garden vegetables was another challenge for us to avoid. We would play hide and seek in the garden while nibbling on some of the garden treasures. My brothers and I would try to hide and flatten our bodies close to the ground as soon as we heard either my mother or grandmother asking us what we were up to.
At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we carry tools to help you with your strawberry creations. One item is the strawberry huller. A strawberry huller is a small kitchen tool used to remove leaves and the hull from the top of a strawberry. Lots of dishes call for it. The huller, which resembles a mini set of tongs with tips or you can get the one with teethlike edges, allows you to push the tips into the top of a strawberry (around the stem), grip, twist, pull, and you’re done. The advantage to using a huller is that you lose much less fruit than if you just cut the ends off of your berries. Yes, you could use a knife. However, the huller is much safer. Another item to have is a paring knife to help you slice up your strawberries.
This spring, step into the strawberry fields with friends and family or stop by the farmers’ market to pick up some strawberries. While you are creating your favorite strawberry dish, maybe even put on the Beatles and listen to “Strawberry Fields Forever” (oh! I am showing my age). Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
Like with any genre of film making, there are periods of time where there’s an influx in a certain type of entertainment and then it ebbs away again. I have always enjoyed watching movies about the Vikings, being one who appreciates the aesthetics and stories of the Vikings. There are some great Viking movies out there. Of course there is “Thor,” the Mighty God of Thunder, and “The Vikings” starring Kirk Douglas as the Viking prince Einar and Tony Curtis as Eric the Slave. One of my favorites is the movie “How to Train your Dragon.” DreamWorks make such good pictures that it is no surprise that it is also one of the best Viking movies of all time, especially since they are based on the popular children’s books by Cressida Cowell. I believe I truly loved watching these movies, making modern day Vikings one who approaches the unknown with curiosity and strives to face hardships with courage. One who displays loyalty and honesty, and who values integrity and honor.
So what does being a Viking have to do with cooking? Apart from just the appetite, cooking shows make you yearn for one more thing; the cookware. Behind a fantastic cookware set is a reputable company that is dedicated to making your kitchen-time enjoyable and fruitful. The cookware industry comprises of well-known companies that have spent decades in manufacturing some of the best kitchen brands that are in most households. “Viking cookware” is one of my personal favorites. These professionals are experts in the industry, and they understand how to easily enhance the overall kitchen experience while offering top-of-the-line cookware that goes along with any kitchen design and offers an amazing culinary experience. So many of our customers come in and state that they want good cookware. They are tired of going through generations of cookware that does not last or is not providing them with the heat conduction or distribution they are looking for in cooking. Good pans are worth their price because they manage heat better. Being a “good conductor” and “heavy gauge” are the key features of good cookware.
Here’s how these characteristics affect cooking. You get responsive heat. Good heat conductors, such as copper and aluminum, are responsive to temperature changes. They’ll do what the heat source tells them to do—heat up, cool down—almost instantly. You get fast heat flow. Heat flows more easily through a good heat conductor, assuring a quick equalizing of temperature on the cooking surface. You get even heat diffusion. A thicker pan has more distance between the cooking surface and the heat source. By the time the heat flows to the cooking surface, it will have spread out evenly, because heat diffuses as it flows. You get more heat. Mass holds heat (heat is vibrating mass, so the more mass there is to vibrate, the more heat there will be). The more pan there is to heat, the more heat the pan can hold, so there’s more constant heat for better browning, faster reducing, and hotter frying.
At Compliments to the Chef, we carry the 5-ply construction Viking cookware. With 5-ply construction and four outer layers of treated aluminum, this cookware is designed to offer an incredible heat transfer for all your cooking needs. You can use these pans with ovens, broilers, and grills. These pans, with the help of aluminum layers, can easily withstand a temperature of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use this cookware on all cooktops, including induction, without having to worry about sacrificing the integrity and taste of your dishes. The heat transfer ensures that your cooking experience is remarkable and delicious. The polished interior is non-reactive and does not add any foreign or metallic flavor to your food. One of the best perks of using this cookware is the signature Viking stay-cool handle. This ergonomically designed handle ensures that you do not burn yourself during the cooking experience, and also offers a secure grip, maximum comfort, and ultimate balance at your fingertips. Viking Professional Series Cookware will enable you to experience the art of luxury cooking and they are handcrafted in the USA.
Buying good cookware could be a wonderful gift to give your culinary enthusiast. Stop by Compliments to the Chef - your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place. Make music in your kitchen with the sounds of stirring, pots and pans clanking. Play some music while you cook. Maybe even put on a Viking movie while you are cooking. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”
John & Paula
Hello my Foodie Friends!
This weekend is Mother’s Day. Remembering my mother at this time brings those memories that make me laugh and cry. I lost my mother many years ago. However, I do still have my Mother-in law, who I do love very much and I recently got to visit her for the first time in a year and a half. As I reflect on the years that I did have with my mother, the importance of family and time spent with family is a significant piece that stands out. Our home was filled with emotions, excitement and constant family interaction.
I have talked about growing up in an Italian family in many of my articles. Italians are a matriarchal nationality. It’s the women who carry on the traditions and hand out the majority of discipline, wisdom and nurturing to the children. As I was growing up being one of five siblings, every room in the house involved teaching and training by my mother. Life seemed much simpler and sweeter then. We had parents who loved us but weren’t afraid to discipline us. I continue to reminisce with my siblings on the “Italian” scoldings we would often get with something being said in half Italian and half English and the constant phrase “…because I said so!”
There are so many of life’s lessons we learn from our mothers, that get handed down from generation to generation. Lessons such as: “it’s the small things that count, or don’t sweat the small stuff; always be honest; admit mistakes, be humble; care about the right things; laugh often, learn from others.” I can go on and on there are so many.
Compliments to the Chef would like to salute all the Moms who have made life happen in our homes and especially in the kitchen. Who is the first one to start cooking a meal and the last to sit down for a meal? Who is still in the kitchen cleaning well after everyone else has left? What room in the house does mom dole out free advice on dating, school, employment and dealing with disappointment? Where do some of your funniest memories of mom take place? Moms hold court in their kitchen as a judge does in his court room or Queen Elizabeth does in Buckingham Palace. My Mom didn’t hold a staff like the Queen but she did carry a rolling pin and a wooden spoon. For a few years it was never very far from her right hand.
This Mother’s Day when it is time for dinner, seat mom first and clean up so she can enjoy her day. Call Mom on a regular basis and tell her how you feel about her. You cannot say “I love you Mom” enough. Meal time is family time. Look at each other, listen to each other, tell stories, and talk about life. Whatever the gift is that you give your Mom on Mother’s Day, the greatest gift is the smile and love you give her. Hold onto these traditions and family time you have created. Enjoy your time at home and make beautiful memories. Thank our moms for the valuable life lessons learned that we continue to pass on.
At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we are available to help you with finding that special gift to give to Mom. Remember my Foodie Friends and Moms: “Life Happens in the Kitchen” – those memories will last you a lifetime.
John & Paula