Monday, November 1, 2010

"No Small Thing"

"Daily Tasks are Not Small Things" (May 1923)

Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings (Laura Ingalls Wilder Family Series)"If when cooking you think of yourselves as the chemist that you are, combining different ingredients into a food that will properly nourish human bodies, then the work takes on a dignity and an interest. And surely a family well nourished with healthful food so that the boys and girls grow up strong and beautiful, where their elders reach a hale old age, is no small thing."   

Little House in the Ozarks, Laura Ingalls Wilder, p. 206, May 1923

When I think of all my tasks and chores and duties, this quotation sums up one of the most important jobs that I often wish to put aside because I feel in such a hurry - getting good food on the table for my family.  Hurry, hurry, hurry!  Hurry to get the boys up for breakfast.  Hurry to get it on the table.  Hurry to get started with school work.  Hurry to get done with school work.  Hurry to get a few household chores done.  Hurry to get lunch going.  Hurry to eat the lunch!

Cranberry Rocket Salad
My mother used to always say that meal times should be happy times.  I guess that quote is good for the goslings and good for the gander, too.  As chief cook and bottle washer sometimes I arrive at the table worn out and leave only thinking of the clean up!  But cooking good food for my family is super important.  Table time is where small children learn the manners of the world.  Table talk with older boys is still important as we interact with our growing young men soon to leave the nest. 

I am thankful that one day this week my oldest said - Hey, I'm going to wash the dishes after lunch!  Woo!  What a spontaneous thrill!  No asking!  It was wonderful.
Ingredients for my Lentil Vegetable Soup

Tonight they all said,  Mmmm... this food is great!  Ah, my heart is happy.  Well, I am a cook!  When people ask me what I do on the mission field, I find myself saying more and more - I cook food!  I guess cooking and getting things ready to cook takes up about half of my time each and every day.  But that's just fine!

At church the boys and girls love our soup time after Sunday School just before church.  It just tickles me pink when they come running back and ask for seconds and thirds when the soup is super good.  Tickles me even more when it is on my night to make the soup!

Cooking for my family is NO SMALL THING.  It is preventive medicine.  It is providing a balanced meal with enough fruits and vegetables.  It is making sure no one gets too much white sugar and every one eats enough but not too much.  It is teaching - teaching what things are good to eat and what things are best left in the store.  Cooking is a wonderful task, but it sure is nice when someone helps with the dishes!

Just a few thoughts!

Click on the link to...
See More of My Favorite Recipe Inventions

"There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves." Thomas Wolfe 


  1. I also feel like most of my day is spent in the kitchen. By the time I get breakfast ready and the kitchen cleaned up from that meal, it's almost time to start lunch. Not long after's time to get supper ready? But, didn't we just eat lunch?!?

    I've made the lentil veg. soup several times and it always gets a thumbs up! I add a little cooked ground beef to help some of the unwanted vegs. pass the palate test of little mouths.

    It is a delight to a mother's heart to hear her child say that a meal is "the best meal I've ever had" even though they've had it several times before!

    Recently, Joshua said that he was going to do a particular thing for me. He said that he didn't want me to work too hard. Maybe he's noticing that I rarely sit down other than to eat, and he will be a good dish washer or floor sweeper before too long.

    Keep plugging along...and cooking!

  2. Oh I enjoyed reading about the cooking at your house, Michele! AND the offer to wash the dishes!!! Recently, I reminded Tim how Jason always loved to do things in the kitchen, esp inventing recipes. I have 2 recipes that I use that I put his name on!!! He just turned 35 and often cooks at home. I think his wife is a lucky one to be pampered in that way.


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