Friday, February 3, 2023

By Gini Rainey

It would seem like today is a special day for those people in your life who had a maternal influence on you as you were growing up.  It’s a time to thank them, honor them, and remember them.  Me? I chose to let my two daughters know how grateful I am that they managed to survive to adulthood in spite of me.  They are both lovely women – amazing in so many ways.  I don’t know exactly how we managed to do it, and looking back over those years, I’m not sure where we went right, but thank goodness we did.

I have always compared raising children to birds raising their young.  You do what is needed to make it possible for your children to leave the nest and live full and rich lives.  Of course, as they sit poised on the edge of that nest, ready to test their wings, you will definitely feel a bit of a tug – especially if you did it right.  I’m so glad that both of our daughters are so fiercely independent and strong.  But, oh my, what a challenge some those years were, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

One of the things that I am glad we made sure happened when the girls were growing up was all of us sitting down to dinner together every night.  Without the distraction of a television, we were able to communicate with one another and share what we had done during the day.  I really believe that doing this was one of the more important things that we did with our children.  If you don’t practice this with your family, I would encourage you to begin now, it’s never too late.

Along those lines, whether you have sons or daughters, have your kids be involved in food preparation.  A great book to have to get started in that direction is the Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book.  First published in 1955 by Meredith Press, this cute little book will get your kids interested in the art of cooking.  Filled with easy to understand cautionary tips and how-to’s, this book has several different recipes from beverages all the way to desserts as well as meal-planning suggestions.

What child wouldn’t be happy to prepare an Easy Lemon Pie for dessert tonight?  Imagine the pride on his face as he announces “I made it all by myself” as everyone tells him how yummy it is!  This is all it will take for your child to build some good old fashioned self-esteem.  Have him put 14 graham crackers into a zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Measure out 1 ¼ cup of crumbs, reserving remainder, and mix together with ¼ cup sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter.  Pat into an 8 inch pie plate and refrigerate for 45 minutes.  Now, break 1 egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork until no white shows.  Then grate the peel of a lemon until you have 1 teaspoon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze to get ½ cup.  Now, pour 1-15 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a mixing bowl, along with the egg, lemon peel, and juice.  Then stir until the mixture thickens.  Pour into the pie shell, sprinkle with the reserved crumbs and chill for an hour before serving.  How simple was that? And the memories of resulting pats on the back will stay with him forever.  Oh, and he’ll thank you one day for the experience!

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