Around the Table
Loveys, it's been a whirlwind few days over here. My mother is visiting, helping me with our little darlings while my workload is pretty heavy. And so my grandmother decided to come visit too! It's been a spur-of-the-moment thing and so wonderful. We don't live near each other so it's been a couple of years since we've seen each other. What a blessing for her to just drop everything and decide to come see us! My grandmother is basically a chef. She had her own very successful Mexican restaurant for 27 years. And for 24 of those years the restaurant was a 24-hour business. Open 24 hours! Amazing. She couldn't even find the key because it had never closed for years. She retired, but she was too used to being busy. She's a businesswoman. It's in her blood. So she opened a new diner a few months ago.
While she's been here with us, I asked her to show me how to make a few dishes, ones that I used to love to eat in her restaurant. So she made us Mexican beef soup, bread pudding Mexican-style, and chicken fried steak the other day, and tonight was the real treat that I've been waiting for for what feels like years! Cheese enchiladas with made-from-scratch chile con carne, homemade beef tamales, homemade tortillas, and Mexican rice (the best ever). She basically threw this meal together and they were the best tamales I've ever had! She didn't even have the right pots and pans for steaming and the corn husks! She just improvised and it was incredible. Absolutely amazing. She is just so gifted with the ability to cook.
Tonight I picked up Jeff from the airport and we came home to a house filled with food and family. Sara and Nemo and my mother and grandmother were around the table. The kids were running inside and out to the backyard, having fun and so thrilled to see Jeff when we walked in. We joined them at the table, eating all these mouth-watering foods that reminded me of my childhood. I love that food brings people together. As a cook and restaurateur, my grandmother has had a lifetime of seeing this to be true. Tonight it was true again at my house.
"The different grandma is awake! Can I go say hi to her?" she whispers. I just smile. Precious. Yes, I tell her. Go say hi to Grandma Dorie.
In our lives we have things and people and projects vying for our attention. Our priorities are constantly shifting. But family always needs to be at the top. These days my mind feels weighed down with thoughts. You know that feeling? When you lay down to sleep but your mind keeps turning with all the thoughts rushing through your head? When your to-do list never seems to shrink?
Even with all that, family must take precedence. I'm the happiest when I'm surrounded by my mom and dad and my sisters and Jeff and the kids. Why? Because they love me all the time. It's an ongoing thing. I'm always accepted by them. I'm always a priority to them. I'm always special to them. There's a bond there that runs deep.
It's a gift. The love of family. And I'm thankful for it. The last few days have been an unexpected pleasure for me. To have my grandmother here and my mother--such fun! And to have cheese enchiladas, a staple of my childhood.
Family and Mexican food--two of my favorite things. :)
Posted by Brandy Bruce at September 17, 2013
Labels: Ashtyn sayings, ashtyn update, Comfort food, family life, food memories, grandmother, hosting dinner parties, seeing family