Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day - A Different Perspective

Most stories look at Labor Day from the perspective of the factory worker.  That is important, but today I offer a different perspective.

On this day I am reading my Kindle with cooking shows in the background. Now why am I listening to cooking shows?  A major surprise to my friends - I gave my wife control of the remote.  Before you ask, yes I really did. 

So today I am listening to Tricia Yearwood's cooking show, Tricia's Southern Kitchen, and Pioneer Woman

On one of Yearwood's episodes she talked about her grandmother and how she cooked a lunch and dinner every day. That made me think about this perspective on Labor Day.  It is the labor of mothers and grandmothers cooking meals every day.

My friends all know this about me, I am half Lebanese. My mother is a full blooded Lebanese lady. My friends also know I was raised in Midland, Texas.  My mother and Sitie (Lebanese for grandmother) cooked hearty, healthy meals. However, even though I was raised in the South/Southwest, my mother and Sitie did not cook much Southern food.  Most of the food had an Arabic flavor to it. In fact, in my parents' home, if you had half a gallon of virgin olive oil and/or 10 cloves of garlic, you were running dangerously low on absolutely key ingredients. 

My wife is the Southern cook. You name any Southern dish and the chances are she cooked it.

All three take great pride in their meals and signature dishes.  All three are meticulous cooks.  For the family, they use the best ingredients, spend considerable time on prepping and seasoning, and when appropriate, presentation. 

This is labor and one of love. It takes time to go to the store or stores for the right ingredients, washing and prepping food, seasoning, cooking, serving and you get the idea.  The family sits down at the dinner table, enjoys food and conversation and then their goes separate ways. Perhaps to study or a school related activity.  To get to that point, it takes labor. However, the benefits are immense (as I suspect all three ladies realized that years ago).  A meal can bind a family for a short time, it feeds hungers (appetite and togetherness) and encourages discussions. 

So as you think of Labor Day, remember the mothers, grandmothers and wives who labor in a kitchen every night so a family can bond.  What a great gift.

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