Memories of Food

Do you have a favorite memory? All of us do. I would venture a guess that most have to do with a holiday, and holidays usually involve food. A big family meal full of laughter and good food creates the perfect mix of good food and good company. Too often in daily life, we lose the family meal. We eat, we exist, but we don’t always enjoy. Then on those times when we do have a big family meal, not everyone enjoy s the same foods. I’ve found a secret. It’s something from my youth that I learned from my Danish grandparents. It’s called a Smorgasbord. Smorgasbord is an anglification of the Swedish word Smörgåsbord. It is a buffet style table in a restaurant, or a holiday feast at home, prepared with many small dishes. It’s a little something for everyone. I have had my grandson Shawn, age 6, walk up to me at dinner time and say “Grandma, I am ready for my smorgasbord”. It is typically not gourmet, but it is a wonderful trick to get 3 different vegetables on a childs plate without too much commotion.

You could have a weekly Smorgasbord. Inviting each member of the family to pick one or two dishes that are their favorites. Then invite all to participate in the planning, shopping and preparation of the meal. It does not have to be fancy; it just has to be fun with most importantly good food. You could do a menu something like this

• Roasted or grilled chicken

• Beef tips in gravy

• Buttered egg noodles with parsley

• Roasted potatoes

• Peas and carrots with herb butter

• Green bean almond rice (recipe shown)

• Sauteed fresh spinach with a dash of cream and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

• Whatever fresh vegetables and fruits are perfectly ripe and in season

• Rolls and butter

Everything here can be made in advance or bought already prepared. Adjust quantities for your family size. Adjust the menu items to your individual tastes and dietary requirements. Then package up any leftovers in single serve portions, and you have a quick dinners ready for later in the week. It takes a little extra time, but we all know it’s worth every second.

Green Bean Almond Rice

Serves about 8

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method

——– ———— ——————————–

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 cups brown rice, cooked in chicken broth

3/4 pound whole, small green beans fresh or frozen

1/4 teaspoon tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds; stir until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium, add beans, and cook about 6 minutes or until tender. Add onion and red pepper; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add rice, white pepper and tarragon. Stir until thoroughly heated.

Lynn McKee is a personal chef, preparing meals for busy people who still want to eat healthy. Lynn’s Meal’s has been in business since August 2001. You may contact her at (240) 476-1699 or[email protected]. You can also visit her website atwww.lynnsmealsinminutes.com

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