Family Food

14 06 2017

In nine days, my mother will host the Murphy family’s annual reunion. Mom was number twelve of fifteen kids and now she’s the last one standing from her generation. My sister and I are thrilled that so many of our cousins will be visiting Pennsylvania from all over the country.  From Florida to Washington to New York to California to Minnesota to Arizona,  we’ll have over three dozen Murphy relatives at the upcoming three-day party. 

I remember some unpleasant dust-ups at reunions past.  Mom’s brothers and sisters did not approve of the way she was raising us. They were not hesitant to let her know “You’re spoiling your kids rotten, Mil.”  I can’t argue that we were treated pretty darned great.  I will say that we are not, however, rotten.

 One of the things we were allowed to do was to refuse to eat foods we did not like. There was no sending to bed without supper, no sitting at the table with a plate of cold peas staring back at us. One of the side effects of that shameful coddling was that I grew to love cooking.

 When the family arrives next week, Mom won’t be hiring a caterer. She won’t be making dinner reservations at any restaurants. I will be cooking for all. It is a big job, but it is the least I can do for my mother who does so much for me – including making me a cheeseburger and bringing it to my high school every day of my senior year because I did not like the cafeteria food!

I am looking forward to a few days of hard work in the kitchen, lots of dishwashing, chopping, slicing, stirring, roasting, and serving to my family, close and far-flung.  If they don’t like what I’ve prepared, I can always whip up something else for them.  I learned that from my mom.

So, it’s a paper bag, but it could look a little like a toque. This was 1955 with my dad, who drank dreadful instant coffee prepared loving by yours truly at age one and a little. He aided and abetted Mom with all the spoiling. How lucky can a kid get!

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12 responses

14 06 2017
June Rollins

Love the photo of you and your Dad, Paula! Hope to see reunion. Would love to see reunion pics. Happy cooking and happy reunion to All. Kick up a little dust for old times’s sake 🙂

15 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

I’m sure there’ll be some “interesting” conversation, June. None of us is short on opinion! As for my dad, who’s been gone since ’93, I am ever bolstered by what he told me as a kid. “No matter who’s right or wrong, I’m on your side.” Unequivocal parental love and support – what a gift!

14 06 2017
elaine

Paula, enjoy this time with your family. What sweet memories and hopefully, more will be made next week.

15 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Thanks, Elaine. I think I will enjoy a long nap, after it’s over!

15 06 2017
theafine

Have a marvelous experience! It sounds as if it will be a most fascinating event for all (well, at least for SOME!) BTW, you haven’t changed….I’d recognize you from that picture anywhere!!!

15 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Thanks, Teddi! I have always looked good with a bag over my head. 😉

15 06 2017
gbalock

After years of cooking two meals, one for Judy and me, and one for my daughter, I’m heartened to know that:
1. I wasn’t the only one allowing free choice of food.
2. Someone who is as awesome as you are Paula, turned out more than okay.
My daughter has outgrown some of her food issues (she recently tried Duck) and is on her way to being her own Miss Awesome.

15 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Thank you, George, for being a wonderful father and a fine friend.

16 06 2017
janice

Once agin you have shared some enlightening and sweet memories. Funny you should mention peas as to this day I remember having to remain at the dinner table to eat my gross peas after everyone else had left. Absolutely Love the photo of you and your Dad! Bob and I also think it looks just like you.
Thanks Paula. Your kin folks are in for a HUGE treat!!
XO

16 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

I will never serve you peas, my dear!

16 06 2017
MARIA ETTEL

CHEF PAULA… THIS WILL BE A “MILLIE BE PROUD” REUNION. THOSE WHO WERE CRITICAL MAY FIND THAT YOUR WONDERFUL MOM WAS SPOT ON. I ENVY THOSE WHO WILL BE THE RECIPIENT OF THE KRAUS LADIES’ HOSPITALITY.
LOVE FROM MARIA XO XO XO XO

17 06 2017
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Dear Maria, you should have Hank bring you over next Saturday – you’re surely family!!!

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