We Share Our Food
If you are a parent of school age children, it’s a familiar rule at school lunch tables that you can’t share your food. Not at Roads End. We love to share food. And when we are not together, we share recipes. Ones that are dear to our hearts, new to our taste buds and especially those ingrained in our heads. Food is meant to be shared. Meals at Roads End make memories and satisfy not only taste buds of different ages but also the body with good home-grown, home made nutrition.
Over the course of the summer, 14 grandchildren descend on the farm. Including parents and grandparents, we are often feeding 20+ people, three times a day. The fun of raising our children together includes what happens in the kitchen with siblings, spouses, laws and parents—a total break from the daily grind and routines we follow when we go back to jobs and roles at home.
When we gather together, food becomes a pretty big part of the day: discussing daily menus, trying new combos, sharing creative tips, hearing what Booty Farm has in season and new ways to eat what’s coming out of Mom’s garden.
In 2012, my sister Kate thought enough to collect some of our farm recipes and her own favorites in a cookbook which she gave everyone for Christmas. “Let’s Eat 2012” includes simple go-to recipes for Basic Scones, scratch Pancake Mix (you’ll never buy Bisquick again), Smitty’s Molasses Mancakes, Basic Burger Buns and Mom’s Makes-Any-Dinner-Party-Extra-Special Chocolate Sauce. Filled with simple, unedited photos of our children doing what kids do at the farm—building fairy houses, learning to fish, frog hunting around the pond, stealing just-picked blueberries off the table—the cookbook is not only a treasure of memories, it is also a guide. There are thousands of cookbooks in print with fancy dishes by newly famous chefs for today’s fad diet. Not this one. Let’s Eat is a guide back to basics. It taught me how to make my own, do more with what I have, simplify, enjoy each ingredient, experiment and go with my gut. And I continue to use the book almost every day at home. Its pages are slightly torn, the binding creased and you’ll find patch of stickiness and some dried bread dough on the covers.
Every year we try to make a new “Let’s Eat” to remember our time at the farm, sharing food and being together as a family. I thank my sister for starting the tradition and creating something that continues to get me excited to prepare a meal, as much as remind me that family, food and simple pleasures are what make a good life.