Can you ever imagine being happy that the dishwasher broke? I didn’t think so but when my daughter-in-law’s dishwasher indeed broke, it turned out to be a lovely thing …
Recently I was visiting Matthew and Melissa’s Honey Creek Farm for the weekend to see my darling granddaughter. Melissa always has some project going on and this weekend it was making batches of baby food for Magpie.
Over the years, I’ve cooked in Melissa’s kitchen many times and, as a professional chef, I’m quite comfortable in her kitchen and any other kitchen. I’ve worked in some of the best-equipped kitchens and in all sorts of home kitchens. I’ve even cooked aboard the galley of the fishing charter Saltry ‘C’ in Alaska. Just saying … I am “at home” working with food and in any kitchen – any where – any time.
Melissa is a great cook herself but I suppose when your mother-in-law cooks for a living, you sometimes just turn over the wooden spoon and chopping block. But this weekend was different. Melissa is a mom now – an amazing mother and one of the hardest working gardeners I’ve ever seen. All of Magpie’s vegetables this first year of her life are from Melissa’s garden which she and Matthew planted, tended and harvested while pregnant and shortly after Magpie was born.
Now that Magpie is ready for solid foods, Melissa was busy preparing little ice cube trays and muffin tins of homegrown vegetables that she would freeze and then introduce to her daughter in the weeks ahead. She was pureeing butternut squash, beets, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, tomatoes and pumpkin. She also ground up some chicken, apples, pears, avocado, and made cereal batches using various combinations of millet, quinoa, oats, brown rice, bulgar and flax.
I was so glad to be there, watching Melissa work with diligent love, taking care to make sure everything was perfect. We worked side-by-side, Melissa was in complete charge and even as she stayed focused on getting as much done as possible, we chatted the whole time about all sorts of little things. You know, nothing really earth-shattering but kitchen chit chat…kitchen gabbing. Anyone who has worked alongside someone they love in the kitchen knows what I’m talking about.
My role was that day was to be the dishwasher. With the actual dishwasher on the fritz, and Melissa busy with the food prep, the professional chef was now the dishwasher. And I loved every minute of it. I’m not the kind of chef OR the kind of mother-in-law to think I’m above washing dirty pots and pans. But this day especially, I was delighted to be witnessing my granddaughter’s first foods being made…to see my daughter-in-law in action as the Mom-in-charge with a plan for exactly what she wanted to accomplish. And it felt just right to take my place as supporting character in this special scene – Chef Disch as the dishwasher.
I was reminded that lovely day with my hands deep in the soapy sink suds that sometimes the most precious moments in the kitchen aren’t about being the star but just about being present.
Thank you Melissa for letting me wash the pots and pans.
Bon Appetit (and sweet dreams) my dear Magpie!
Melissa’s Baby Food Cubes and Meal Menu Plans:
- Squash, Carrots, Beef, Grains
- Peas, Pears and Grains
- Chicken, Apples and Cranberries
- Turkey, Asparagus with Brown Rice
- Banana, Spinach and Grains
- Beef and Spinach
- Oatmeal with Blueberries, Banana
- Apple, Banana Yogurt
- Hard-cooked Egg Yolk with Greek Yogurt and Spinach
- Pomegranate Greek Yogurt
- Super Porridge: any combination of Millet, Quinoa, Flax, Bulgar and Brown Rice