Cookin’ Up Traditions

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

We’ve all heard this phrase countless times. “Cook delicious food,” the older woman advises, “and you’ll catch yourself a husband.” She’s right! A home-cooked meal can warm a man’s heart, and refresh his spirit. While my marriage does not subsist on baked goods alone (sadly), a well-timed pastry can serve as a sign of gratitude for my husband’s provision or even an apology. Food goes a long way in making a happy home.

In The Supper of the Lamb, Robert Farrar Capon wrote: “We were given appetites, not to consume the world and forget it, but to taste its goodness and hunger to make it great.” Food has a mystical, almost spiritual ability to affect us. Eating isn’t just a physical necessity; it is a gift of God to reach souls.

As a young girl, fascination about my Norwegian heritage was centered around the delicious food. Crispy kavring, savory lefse, and buttery kringla appeared at family gatherings. Kransekake, a delicate layered cake, was reserved for only the most special occasions. Nearly every Norwegian dinner included potatoes, butter, and salt. My appetite for Norway started in my stomach and quickly progressed to my heart. Now, I am learning how to prepare these foods for my own family.

Every meal we ladies cook is an opportunity to harness the Creator’s gift of food, and put it to good use. We can use traditional meals to teach our children their heritage, and cultivate gratitude for past generations. Here are some ideas:

  • Find a significant historical figure, and bake a cake on his or her birthday.
  • Have breakfast food or appetizers on Sundays to make it special.
  • On family birthdays, cook your husband or child’s favorite meal.
  • Celebrate important days of church history with a particular dish.
  • Learn a recipe from your country of origin.

The family needs to eat every single day, and you’re going to be cooking dinner anyway. Take the opportunity to pass on your heritage and faith through some good, old-fashioned home cookin’!

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