This cookbook is dedicated to our dear Mother, who taught us that a lovingly prepared meal can show love just as well as a hug or a kind deed or act. Many of her posterity have inherited a love of cooking and things fresh from the earth. Perhaps we have her and Dad and our early life on the farm to thank for our collective good health (knock on wood) and longevity. Certainly our food and water could not have been more pure, or fresher.
What a delight is it to us, her children– to see our children now taking the same care to create their own traditions, whether for holidays with special foods or involving the warmth that comes from hosting friends and family. Some of us still love growing things and eating them fresh from our gardens.
Our Mother faced tremendous challenges, but who ever heard her complain? She did everything with more pride, pleasure, and satisfaction than many of us feel today. Consider how different and difficult her life was: She fed nine people every meal, for years! Her food budget was nearly nonexistent! If she wanted to make Sunday dinner, she would have to kill and pluck a chicken, dig up potatoes, pick beans or peas, both of which she had planted and tended, and make the bread or rolls, and probably bake a nourishing pie or cobbler from the orchard or the myriad jars of carefully preserved fruit in the basement. We were grateful for every bite, knowing how much she’d put into it. Thanks, Mom, we will keep you alive in our memories, carrying on your legacy from generation to generation.