With the passing of Labor Day, summer is unofficially over and most children are heading back to school. Although the weather is still warm, now is the time to start pulling out your favorite Fall recipes and making plans for those end-of-the-day family dinners.
I was talking to one of my neighbors and she told me that a few years ago she started a tradition with her family where they have a big “Back to School” dinner together. Although her intention was to cook something different every year, so far, her husband and their two kids have always asked for the same thing: fried chicken, steamed corn, and homemade potato salad.
She says the annual meal is a good foundation for the family to sit down together and officially make the transition from the free spirited flow of summer, to the more organized chaos that comes with the start of a new school year. It also gives her and her husband a chance sit down with the kids and hear how their first day of school went and what they look forward to doing this year.
Traditions like these, and the stories that go with them, are great to add to your family cookbook. Years from now, you can pass on an Heirloom Cookbook to your kids, and they can pass on the tradition to their own family.
That’s it for me, until next time…
We got the cutest email from Sandra in Houston, Texas yesterday. Sandra is getting married in September (Congratulations, Sandra!) and has been looking for a wedding gift for her fiance…
She found Secret Ingredients while she was searching for the perfect gift online. She says that her fiance loves his mother’s cooking so much that she thought a cookbook with her recipes would make the perfect wedding gift. Her fiance’s family lives many miles away in Spokane, Washington, and Sandra is determined to give her man the comfort foods that he loves and grew up with! She wrote, “Of course it will take me some time to make her dishes to perfection, but I’m on a mission…”
How sweet is that! Seriously. I definitely relate to Sandra’s story. The move to Seattle put me almost 3,000 miles from my mother’s kitchen and comfort foods. I’m getting by with our family’s cookbook, but I can’t wait to visit at the holidays!
Take care and have a great day,
Recipes always contain a list of ingredients and directions that tell us how to make or prepare something. Does that something have to be food?? No! As a matter of fact, you can make recipes for all kinds of things: happiness, love, health, etc.
Recipes like this are perfect if you are making a Secret Ingredients cookbook for a new bride or mother. Just think about the things that have helped you through your life- patience, understanding, faith, friendship, hope, and (let’s not forget) laughter- and make your own recipe!
This will add the perfect touch to your cookbook. Not only will your cookbook have recipes for food to make your loved ones healthy and happy, but it will also have words of wisdom!
If you are making an office cookbook with co-workers, be sure to include some of your favorite office jokes and recipes from your lunch or evening potlucks.
Last week I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Rus on his radio show, LiveLine. We had a great time talking about Secret Ingredients family cookbooks and our own family traditions and favorite meals. Dr. Rus told me about one of his favorite memories and traditions, and it was one of the most unique stories I’ve heard…
Every year his mother would make this incredible birthday cake. She would prepare the batter and the cake pan, but before sticking it in the oven she would wrap coins in wax paper and place them strategically in the batter. During the birthday celebration the kids would get to have this great treasure hunt as they ate their cake! Of course, little Dr. Rus, the birthday boy, would get the piece with the most valuable coins. What a neat tradition!
Birthdays are an opportune time to integrate traditions. Not only is it very doable because birthdays only happen once a year, but sometimes the most simple traditions are very memorable when they are associated with an already important day.
A lot of families celebrate birthdays with a special cake recipe, and others let the guest of honor choose the theme or menu for the celebration. One of my favorite childhood friends, Sarah, and her younger brother, Paul, were allowed to choose the menu for their birthday meals. There were no boundaries. One year, I was invited to Paul’s birthday feast. The dining room table was set for a formal occasion with silver and the best china, and the entire family and Paul’s friends gathered around the table for a meal of macaroni and cheese, cheese potato chips, cheese and crackers, and kid’s fruit punch box drinks. It was great!
Here are some ideas for fun and easy Birthday traditions for children:
- Treasure Hunts are great for early childhood years. My parents used to set up a treasure hunt to lead my sister and I to our main gift. You can also incorporate a treasure hunt theme into the birthday party for guests. This is very helpful with smaller children because it keeps them occupied and focused on tasks and, of course, the treasure! (Tip: You can buy pre-made treasure hunt kits.)
- Birthday Photographs are a great way to document each birthday and for future scrapbooking projects. Try to take the photo the same each year. For example, go to a photo booth each year or take a photograph of your child blowing out the candles.
- Breakfast in Bed makes everyone feel special. Treat your children to their favorite breakfast meal in bed each year. It’s a great way to start the day and will create lasting memories! If a birthday falls on a weekday, put a special note and treat in your child’s lunch box.
- If your family has a Height Chart in your home, mark it with each passing birthday and celebrate your child’s physical growth and accomplishments of the year. This lets them know that you are proud of them and focuses on positive accomplishment.
When your children grow up, you can create a family cookbook and include favorite birthday cake recipes and photographs for the perfect gift for any occasion- weddings, baby showers, Mother’s day, and more!