How does food, family, and fond memories sound to you? I love that combination! I’m so excited to introduce my guest blogger, Linda Wood Rondeau. Linda shares a sweet family memory about “Green Stuff” which has always made its way to the table in her family for a number of years. Read on, and make a comment to enter a drawing for an E-copy of one of Linda’s books!
My friend, a widow, has set aside a special day to celebrate her husband’s memory. The family gathers for a “Joe Day,” and she prepares his favorite foods. She shares stories so that the grandchildren will not forget him.
In our family, on most holidays, including picnics, Green Stuff always makes an appearance on the table. This is what my children called my mother’s contribution—a creamy blend of whip cream, crushed pineapple, and pistachio instant pudding.
Without fail, my mother brought the much-requested treat to every family dinner. Since her passing, Green Stuff has helped us remember her and brings back cherished memories of fun times—music and laughter. “I remember when Grandma …”
Our own grandchildren were young when my mother passed. The presence of Green Stuff gives opportunity to share stories of a generation they cannot remember and for some of them a generation they had never known.
Today’s busy mothers ask, “How can I bring an atmosphere of pleasant eating that will evoke and produce positive memories when our fast-paced schedule requires we gobble down our food and hurry to the next event?
Perhaps the fast-food, already-cooked, home-delivered meals, or pizza phenomena of today’s harried lifestyles isn’t the demon, but rather the tension associated with these foods. “Hurry up … we’ll be late.” Sit-down family meals have become as much a rarity in American families as saying Grace.
Our rushed life-styles do not necessarily mean our children aren’t able to associate life-long happy memories with particular foods. Remembrance is more about the atmosphere than where we sit or what we eat. Even burnt toast, served with love, will digest better than the most exquisitely prepared Salmon accompanied with strife. Children will associate a smile, a story, or an action with whatever or however food is presented.
We can quiet our hearts, perhaps say Grace after we retrieve our McDonald’s fare, make jokes, or sing silly songs. Who knows, in twenty years or so, that laughter and peace we enjoyed as we sped from McDonald’s to little league games, will be the Green Stuff of future generations.
Linda’s newest release, 2020: Second Helpings
Today is Jocelyn Johnson’s 45th birthday. Unhappy with her marriage of 22 years, the parenting talk show host has planned a noonday tryst with her cohost. A phone call from her college daughter, a peek into her teenaged son’s journal, a sick preschooler, a Goth daughter’s identity crisis, a middle-school son’s prank, and her husband’s inflamed suspicions, not only interfere with her hopeful birthday plans but throw her family into more chaos than a circus on steroids.
In desperate need of counsel, Jocelyn invites a Christian to dinner, her guest from her morning talk show segment. However, the evening holds little promise of calm. In the midst of bedlam, a forgotten faith rekindles causing Jocelyn to rethink her life and her marriage. You will laugh and you will cry from the first page to the last as you journey through the day’s events and Jocelyn’s search for Second Helpings.
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/
A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is no stranger to family bedlam. Her stories of encouragement and hope come from the heart. She resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over forty-years. When not writing, the author enjoys the occasional round of golf. She also enjoys theater and is actively involved with her local church. Find more encouraging words in her blog, Snark and Sensibility, found on her website, www.lindarondeau.com. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Genre: short, contemporary humorous women’s fiction
What memories do you have with family meals, past or present? Submit a comment to enter a drawing to receive an E-copy of Linda’s book, Hosea’s Heart. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page!
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I grew up with the green stuff , too. We loved it. I think I need to pull out the recipe again. Funny, I didn’t make it for my kids very much. I remember Miracle Whip Chocolate Cake (or use mayonnaise). So many memories. Yes, you are right, the drive in fast food places can be special if they are not rushed too much. I like your idea of combining it with jokes and creative conversation.
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you, Laurie, for sharing those thoughts. So you had the “Green Stuff” too? I remember my dad really enjoying that. We just called it green salad.
I don’t know when it started, but for years now, my contribution to my Mexican in-laws at all of our family get-togethers is macaroni salad. Doesn’t matter if it’s Fourth of July (makes sense) or Christmas (really??), whether the menu consists of Mexican or American food, I am always asked to bring a mac salad!
One day I commented that I wished I could be known for something more creative, like some kind of extraordinary cake or other pastry. My niece answered, “Oh, but aunt, we love your macaroni salad because we know you make it with love.”
Made me cry!
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you, Patti, for stopping by and sharing this wonderful family memory. I think you will be leaving a sweet legacy in your family with the macaroni salad–because you are making it with love!