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Food Memories and Traditions

My earliest memories of enjoying food were on Sunday afternoons at my grandparent’s home. The whole family would come together every week to share a meal prepared solely by my grandmother. Cooking was her love language. She made delicious, down home dishes and was always the last one to fix her plate. She was a classy lady as well as my food hero. 

I try to honor her memory by making her recipes. I miss her everyday but the feeling always grows stronger around Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday to be with family and enjoy what I consider the best meal of the year. So, a few years back I decided to give her famous cornbread dressing a try on the first Thanksgiving after I got married. 

Some people may refer to it as stuffing but if you live in the South it is simply called dressing. Grandma’s was the best I’ve ever tasted. It was the perfect harmony of spices, texture and savory goodness. It truly sang off the plate! 🎼🍽 My favorite part used to be scraping the browned edges from around the casserole dish and shamelessly devouring my crispy little pile.😋🍴

Meanwhile, I sourced the sacred ingredients at the local Winn Dixie and began the preparations.🛒🔪 I also nibbled on a little charcuterie that I put together, paired with a nice glass of red. I felt like such a grownup! 🍷🧀 I baked my cornbread, chopped and sautéed the veggies and proceeded with the rest of the instructions that were handed down to me.❤️ Then I crossed my fingers and set the timer.🤞⏲ 

Hubby was responsible for the star of the show.🌟🦃 He chose a spicy route and baked a Cajun infused turkey. We were also having green bean bundles wrapped in bacon, wild rice casserole and apple pie for dessert. It was just us two and the pup because he was out of state working and couldn’t take enough time off to come home. So we packed our bags and brought home to him.👜🚗🏡

Now it’s time for the big test!📝 I got the dressing out of the oven and took in the aroma. We fixed our plates, gave thanks and dug in! I must say that it turned out pretty close as far as flavor profile but the texture wasn’t quite right. I’m looking for the perfect bake of not being too wet or dry. I will keep working on it. The last couple of years our family has been away from home until right before the big day. I want a few more practice rounds before I present it on my Thanksgiving table. I realize that it will never be quite like grandma’s but I want it to be as close as possible. 🙏

I will always cherish that newlywed Thanksgiving with my husband, cooking our first turkey and dressing together. Our little doggie had a great time too! 🐶🍗🧡 I still miss Thanksgivings at my grandma’s house. Since she has passed, everyone has spread out and started hosting their own families or in laws for turkey day. Every family has to go through this natural yet bittersweet evolution in life and traditions. 

It’s important to keep food memories alive in the kitchen. In doing so, you not only remember your loved one but you continue to learn from them. Food carries a connection that can often take on a life of it’s own. That treasured dish or meal now has roots and wings as you grow your own family and cuisine.❤️

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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