7.17.2010

The Sisters Cafe

I never thought I would catch myself saying that I love to cook. I didn't grow up that way. I didn't enter my marriage that way. I didn't even get through our first several years of wedded bliss actually enjoying the process of preparing food. Eating is a whole different story. I love to eat-- actually that might be a grave understatement of the obsession I have with finding delicious things and putting them in my mouth. I LOVE TO EAT. But-- the process of preparing the food never was a passion of mine nor, I must admit, a forte in ANY sense of the word until about four years ago. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I was not brought up by a very talented mother who--amongst other things-- was a wonderful cook (love you mom!) But it wasn't until we moved to Kirksville four years ago that the cosmic forces of all things good came together to create the perfect storm for my current obsession with cooking AND eating. It was that vital mix of a new found poverty, a VERY small town, and LOTS of incredibly talented cooks for friends that really developed in me the NEED to learn to love to cook. My paternal extended family has a fabulous book they published when I was young--The Harper Family Cookbook-- I was given my own copy when I got married. I had-- up until the point we started medical school-- cooked only a very limited selection of the items the book contained-- and most of them were recipes I had learned to love growing up because they were the ones that were seeped in family tradition-- Grandma Harding's famous potato salad--- Marv's favorite waffles-- Grandma Harper's signature chocolate chip cookies. But in Kirksville a newfound longing for home led me to systematically make my way through the cookbook-- cooking any and all of the recipes that I felt my somewhat juvenile tastebuds could handle. It was great. Those first few months of cooking meals from scratch (not frozen, boxed, or to-go!) on a very regular basis was one filled with a GREAT deal of trial-and-error and of saint-like patience on the part of my husband. He was a really great sport who would try anything I made and would muscle past his gag reflex on even the worst meals. The learning curve was huge, but, luckily I was surrounded by a band of dear friends who were always up for swapping ideas, tips, and RECIPES!!! I was thrilled when I found out that the Student Advocate Association had put out their own recipe book filled with the best loved recipes of all of these girls I appreciated and admired and I was quick to snap up each years edition all through medical school. And boy-- were they each little treasure chests! I found by the time I was working my way through our third book that there were several people I could always rely on for AWESOME recipes. If a recipe has their name listed under it-- I might as well just copy it down and put it in our "favorites" folder before I even made it, because it would inevitably become a beloved family favorite. Amongst those who I loved the most were my friends Katherine and Erin. Katherine-- who has her own fabulous cooking blog that I really enjoy reading (click here )--is just awesome. She is really great at putting incredible menus together and has this magical way of making veggies seem appetizing... which, for me, is HUGE! Then there is Erin. As my kids have gotten older, they've also gotten more interested in the process of planning and preparing our family meals. So I have, in turn, gladly given them more and more responsibility in picking and preparing them. Often before I go shopping, I'll send them to our favorite recipe binder to choose a couple of the weeks meals. One week Noah had done something or other awesome so I told him could choose ALL the meals we would eat that week. He spent quite some time picking and choosing recipes from amongst our favorites. I was totally amused when he came back with seven awesome choices... all his favorites... all recipes I'd gotten from Erin! I was thrilled to learn that Erin and her awesome sisters started a blog sometime back where they post all their favorite recipes-- complete with commentary, photos, and LOTS of fun. Now, whenever we feel like something new, I know just where to turn- their blog, The Sisters Cafe. There. I hope you enjoy it! No—who am I kidding. I KNOW you’ll love it. Bon app├ętit!

4 comments:

Rebekah said...

I'm there too now Ruthie. Living off savings and trying to figure out how to use our food storage and be creative, since things are SUPER tight. I'm ever so grateful that your mama is coming out here ot help, b/c she always teaches me something new a wonderful when we get together. Growing up around all of you who, it seemed, never made ANY cooking mistakes at all (completely rediculous of course), I was TERRIFIED to trying to cook anything, so I was content to sit back and clean. Something I'm very proficient at. But now that my oldest is bigger and loves to eat at the table with grow-ups while eating grown-up food most of the time, I find myself trying to use what little skill I gleaned from my mother and yours. Since you're my biggest example on how to handle tough things thrown at you whilst married with children, this post makes me feel more human and not so behind in mothering and wifely hood.

I need to call you sometime soon. I could use more advice about having a husband in school for what seems like an eternity. <3 Love you!<3

DeGooyer Family said...

I loooooove her blog, too! =) I'd say that about 1/2 of the new recipes I try come from Sisters Cafe. WE LOVE IT!

Katie said...

Thanks, Ruth! I love finding new recipe blogs.

Erin said...

Well, this was a fun post to discover when I visited your family blog!! :) I am flattered to have a compliment from you since I look up to you so much and think you are as nearly perfect as anyone can become in this life! Really, I think you are absolutely wonderful. Thank you for your sweet words about my recipes and blog. :) It makes me SO happy to hear when my friends are enjoying the recipes we post!! :)