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The Remarried Life

Oct 16, 2018

  • Today we are going to talk about food.  We all love it, maybe sometimes a bit too much.  We all need it.  In fact in general most studies show we can go about 30 days and that’s it.  Most of us probably feel like we can’t even skip a meal let alone 30 days. 
  • Today we are going to talk about food and the way in which it connects people and more importantly a family. 
  • Before we talk about that here are some funny quotes surrounding food and people that I love: 
    • “There are only three things women need in life:  food, water, and compliments”  Chris Rock
    • “You better cut the pizza is four slices because I’m not hungry enough to eat six” Yogi Berra
    • “Food is not just eating energy.  It’s an experience.” Guy Fieri
    • “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate” Jo Brand
  • Some of my favorite memories about growing up in blended family situations involved food. 
    • My mom made the best peanut butter fudge.  The creamiest, most sweet, most hearty thing on the planet.  To this day, I don’t really care too much for chocolate fudge, but peanut butter fudge is an entirely different story. 
    • My stepmom made lots of good meals but the one that stood out the most was probably the most simple.  She would put a hot dog on a piece of bread, put a slit down the middle, fill it with a slice of cheese, fold it together with a toothpick, and bake it in the oven.  I remember salivating as I watched the crust get golden brown and the cheese bubble. 
    • The first meal my wife ever cooked was chicken enchiladas.  You have no idea how much I appreciated this and how good it made me feel.  There was only one issue and in hind sight something I should never have brought up!  The chicken tasted like it might have been freezer burned.  I said something like I think something is wrong with the chicken, not realizing that she might take this to mean her cooking was the problem.  Needless to say I haven’t lived that one down. 
  • I’m sure you probably have lots of stories about how food has played a special part in your life.  Whether it be things about how you grew up or in your current family. 
  • Food often accompanies happy times like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and so many others milestone events. 
  • It’s also used as a comfort after funerals as well. 
  • There is just something about how food does unite us, and who doesn’t need that at this time in history when it feels like we are so divided. 
  • I would encourage you to make food a part of your family as a way to connect stepkids with each other, with the step parent and even with the biological parent. 
  • One way in which we did that involved my daughter as a teenager.  As I remember we would ask her to cook one meal a night and it could be something of her creation.  She made something with pork, green beans, coconut milk and some other spices and veggies.  It was delicious! 
  • What are you doing to use food as a way to connect each other?  Here are some ideas:
    • Just like we did, assign the kids especially if they are teenagers to cook one meal a week.  If you have more than one teen, you can have them do it together as a team or you could rotate and have a different child every week
    • Involve the kids in meal planning.  Give them some say in some of the foods you prepare.  Of course, you may not want to have gummy bears for dinner one night but see if they can come up with an idea for a tasty side dish.  Then name it after that child.  For example, maybe it’s Jacob’s Creamy Sweet Potato Casserole or Megan’s Cooked Carrots and Brown Sugar.  Feel free to be even more creative than that. 
    • If they come up with a meal or a side dish, then have them go with you to the store to buy the specific ingredients.  Talk to them about cost and amounts that are needed. 
    • Enroll your child into a kids cooking class.  These classes are designed to be fun and interactive.  A quick search on the internet will locate many of these especially if you live in a decent sized city.
    • Find a local farm that allows visits and gives tours so that kids better understand where the food comes from.
    • Visit a farmers market and have the kids pick out the fresh vegetables and fruits and other items needed to make dishes of theirs or your selections.     

Of course lots of kids give resistance when it comes to this idea, so make sure to make it as fun and interactive as you can.