Thoughts and Words

By Linda Lee Cooper

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sixth Love Language ~ Taught by a Lovely Lady

Chances are if you have ever been to my house I have probably cooked for you. It’s something I love to do and it isn’t even hard work for me. It is the way I show love and care to those who come to my house. The preparation is a delight for me and is something I find truly satisfying. I even like the way carrot and potato peelings look in the sink- especially when mixed wth the discarded remains of celery, onions, egg shells, and some coffee grounds tossed in for contrast and texture. I find it beautiful and a form of art! During the preparation I subconsciously imagine how the dish will taste, the conversations we will have, and the satisfying feeling that comes after we have shared the meal.
In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman defines the 5 Love Languages as Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. I would propose that there is a 6th love language and that is cooking! Wait, you might think this falls into the Acts of Service but I don’t think so. I think it deserves a category of its own. I don’t know why it took me so long into my life to discover that cooking and baking is my love language. But I do think I know how it all started.

What prompted this post today is the fact that I am stranded at home in a snow storm and decided to organize my recipe box. (FYI- it's a great way to procrastinate on homework- while still doing something worthwhile) Going though a recipe box is a little bit like walking down the memory lane of a kitchen. There was no rhyme or reason or order to my recipe box and this took me some time to organize (long enough to NOT read two chapters and NOT start WRITING A PAPER). I weeded out a few- the recipes I had politely asked for and never seem to get around to making. I kept every little scrap of paper that my kids had jotted down what only slightly resembled anything like an ingredients list. The personal notes from friends got tucked back in under misc. Now, there stood my recipes, all organized- those oft-used gems in that little tin box. No more frustration of looking for a recipe and inevitably starting from one side of the box, only to find the recipe I was looking for on the other side. Many of these comfortable, worn-in and now neatly organized little cards have been with me since I was betrothed to Keith back in 1978. The recipe box was a gift from Charlotte, my soon to be mother in law and it included about 20 handwritten recipes with personal notes on the back of each one. Some of the cards are almost not even legible any more and a couple have been laminated to make them more durable for frequent use (i.e. Chocolate Chips Cookies and Keith's Chocolate Birthday Delight!). This amazing woman was the main person who has inspired me with her love for cooking and her expression of love to those who entered the doors of her home. Whenever I would go to her house, there always seemed to be something sizzling or simmering or baking. Cookie and treat containers neatly lined the kitchen counters and the coffee was always fresh. Charlotte doesn’t really cook any more and sadly has forgotten many of the most basic things she used to cook, but the gift she gave me- the ability to speak a love language to those who come to my house- is a priceless gift and one that I am forever grateful to have received from her.
(Paris, Lauren, Bud and Grandma Char-Summer 2006)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

National Mother of the Bride Blog Day

For those of you who have been following Lauren and Jesse’s blog you know that they are quite ambitious in their blogging efforts. I am frequently asked, “Mom have you read our blog lately?” (and sometimes Lauren asks me too. )

Yes, I read the blog, just not daily, and I don’t always leave a comment so there is no real evidence that I even read it. So here is my attempt to make up for those days I didn’t read it, and for those days when I did read it, but didn’t comment. Let me just say that I get some of my best humor and laughter when I read their blog. I think these two affianced wedding bloggers are quite the word wizards who are not only quite literate and descriptive but…well…...frankly very funny.

Keith and I have been helping them plan the wedding and are looking very forward to the big event (Lauren calls it the 'epic event' but that might be a stretch). The wedding will be held on our farm and playing host to this occasion is something that we very much look forward to. I have been picking up fun stuff
here and there and have been wedding or bridesmaid shopping a total of 3 times. Suffice it to say, Lauren is is a bride to be who knows what she wants when she sees it and she was able to settle on her dress on the first visit to http://www.jennisbridal.com/ in Rochester and it was ordered and paid for and has now been delivered and hangs in one of our spare closets. The bridesmaid’s dresses will all be the same designer, color, fabric and length, but of varied styles based on the choice of the six bridesmaids. They were even pretty economical as Lauren is attempting to keep things within a reasonable budget. The caterer (Nancy Jo’s Catering from Truman, MN who also did our niece Leah’s wedding) and photographer http://emily-griffith.com/ have been secured and we are even going to utilize the assistance of Naura Anderson who is a very skilled and experienced event planner!

Did I say budget…? Keith and I have intentionally not set a budget and not because money
is not an issue. We didn’t say…. “keep her under X dollars” but instead are just proceeding with care and caution and see how it goes. Right, wrong, or otherwise, that’s how we are doing it. Keith and I are thrilled that Lauren has met such a wonderful guy to share her life with. Jesse is such a sweet, kind, and caring, smart, and funny guy. He is so laid back and even tempered and fits in perfectly with our family. He likes sports and games and is a genius at most kinds of trivia, especially sports and music. He enjoys spending time with family and friends and really has a good head on his shoulders. Any guy that will put up with those two little ‘pup-pup’s’ that Lauren has, is a pretty special guy. So suffice it to say that Keith and I are happy to help with the blessed event and are really looking forward to this. These two are MFEO!!!

Next post- and I hope it won't a six months this time...will show the progression of the barn as we transform it from this to a venue befitting of the Big Fat Fun Farm Wedding on August 27, 2011. Who knows? Maybe I can even get the Father of the Bride to post a little too....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bon App├ętit.



Last night Keith and I hosted three couples for a Friday Night Dinner night.













Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the fabulous food that everyone shared, but I did take photos of the fabulous people in attendance. I made French Pork and White Bean Cassoulet and Creme Brulee. I also had two loaves of Tribeca Oven French Baguette and some fabulous cheese from http://www.zzestmarket.com/ (my new favorite store in Rochester MN-more about this later). Scott and Susan brought
The Barefoot Contessas own Potato-Fennel Gratin

(Keith was sure he had died and gone straight to heaven) and a nummy spinach appetizer.
Donna Domino and Pete
brought Greek Salad and English Trifle (or was it Truffle?).
Galen and Sara

brought two pork roasts, one with a savory garlic rosemary flavoring and the other with Sauerkraut.














Charlotte joined us for dessert!

(okay, I am still frustrated with using this blog and know that my fonts are matched up..... HELP!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Photos

Here is a photo of Keith and I taken at Caleb Johnson's grooms dinner the night before he married Kristy!















Here is an updated photo of what's happening in the basement. We actually have some walls going up! This is a photo of what will become the bedroom closet.










Lastly, here is a photo of my first attempt at making Creme Brulee! I don't have a torch yet, so it doesn't have the caramelized sugar on top. But it was nummy and made for a nice afternoon treat on a snow day!

A Snow Day Photo


So, I am still learning how to use this blog. Now, here's the photo.

A Snow Day

It's rare that a grown up gets to experience a snow day. Today I had that experience. I was up and all ready for work and Keith was driving me to the bus stop for the 7 a.m. bus. He cleared the sidewalk and drive way, but our road was pretty messy and drifted in. So we turned around and came home. Here's a photo of what it looks like outside our back door today at 5:30.