Grandmother Knows Best?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The other day at work, a couple of my lovely colleagues and I were discussing naps.  (Yes, we really were.)  Our conversation basically involved us discussing how we are not big nappers, but that our husbands are.  We concurred that we always feel like we have *things to do* instead of napping.  I think we were all thinking that was pretty sad, as we heard ourselves say it.

And then, one of my colleagues said, reflectively, "My grandmother always took naps."

And then it dawned on me.  "Mine did, too.  Every single day."

We looked at each other.  Were our grandmothers onto something?

I think so.  Prior to this conversation, I had completely forgotten that my grandmother took a nap every day.  But once it came up, I remembered it with crystal clarity.  She napped from 3:00 to 3:45, or sometimes to 4:00 if she was extra tired that day.  She took her shoes off, got in my grandfather's reclining chair, and covered up with a throw blanket of her own crocheted creation.  She set a timer on the side table, and dozed off almost immediately.  She snored.  When the timer went off, she shook off the cobwebs of sleep, sat up, folded up her blanket, and went on with her afternoon.  She did this every day.







Incidentally, the next thing on her agenda would have been to see about dinner.  My grandmother also served my grandfather a four course dinner every night.  Yup, you read it right, folks.

My grandfather came home from work and, often, poured himself a whiskey on the rocks to drink while he changed his clothes.  When he came back downstairs, he sat down to dinner.  The first course was always a homemade soup.  My grandmother's vegetable soup was delicious.  As a grown-up soup aficionado, I can respect the fine balance of a good vegetable soup.

Once the soup bowls were cleared, the second course was a garden salad.  My grandmother always used Bibb lettuce, which reminds me of her to this day.  She also peeled her tomatoes.  (Wow, right?)  There might have been some cucumber or green pepper involved.  The salads were simple, but completely fresh.

The third course was usually a pan-seared steak and some sort of vegetable.  The vegetables were simple, maybe green beans, and usually topped with a little margarine and salt.  I don't really remember there being a carb in that meal, though to me, it begs for some form of potato.  There were, however, rolls or bread of some sort.  (Or Maryland beaten biscuits, if you were lucky.  YUM.)



The fourth course was dessert, which was either frozen yogurt or fresh fruit.  (My grandfather was diabetic.)



As a full-time working mom, the afternoon nap isn't an option for me.  (Though it sounds divine.)  But I can't stop thinking about the four course dinner.  Durel and I are always keeping an eye on how healthily we eat, though we each have penchants for unhealthy things.  (Me = queso.  Durel = donuts.)

But you have to give it Grandmom.  For all of the fad diets and low-fat foods and just plain processed foods out there, the dinners that she served to Granddad were awesome.  They were low fat. They involved good proteins.  They involved a lot of fresh vegetables, and quite frequently, fresh fruit.  They were substantial, but not heavy.  In short, they were awesome.

I feel proud and inspired to totally recognize that Grandmom was on to something.  That something is healthy eating.  And I'm going to try it.  What I mean by that is this:  I am going to make a huge pot of soup this weekend.  And a massive salad.  I may even use Bibb lettuce this week as an homage.  I am going to buy lean proteins and fresh veggies and Durel and I are going to eat like my grandparents for a week or two.  I'll report back on how we feel and how it goes.    

We will make one slight change, though:  We will watch Modern Family and 30 Rock instead of Jeopardy after dinner.  

I think Grandmom would be okay with that.

Bibb lettuce to you all,
Heather

5 comments:

  1. The soup is made with beef bones for the stock and basil, salt and pepper for the spices. As told to me over the phone!

    There was always good bread stuff like croissants or hot rolls (out of the tube).

    I always thought G/mom D. rocked it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. cute :) and yeah a four course meal. jimmy is lucky to get a single plate of food much less 4! hehee

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a fantastic idea! The part that really gets me is the clearing of dishes after every course. We haul everything to the table at once!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ohhh! I am so excited to hear about how this goes for you. I need to do way better in the eating department and plan ahead on meals, but I am super slacking lately. And, for the record, I love, LOVE a good nap. But, since Ike, I always feel like I should take the time to do something else (while he and Chris nap!).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow. That's quite a production. But I bet it was amazing.

    ReplyDelete

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grandmother Knows Best?

The other day at work, a couple of my lovely colleagues and I were discussing naps.  (Yes, we really were.)  Our conversation basically involved us discussing how we are not big nappers, but that our husbands are.  We concurred that we always feel like we have *things to do* instead of napping.  I think we were all thinking that was pretty sad, as we heard ourselves say it.

And then, one of my colleagues said, reflectively, "My grandmother always took naps."

And then it dawned on me.  "Mine did, too.  Every single day."

We looked at each other.  Were our grandmothers onto something?

I think so.  Prior to this conversation, I had completely forgotten that my grandmother took a nap every day.  But once it came up, I remembered it with crystal clarity.  She napped from 3:00 to 3:45, or sometimes to 4:00 if she was extra tired that day.  She took her shoes off, got in my grandfather's reclining chair, and covered up with a throw blanket of her own crocheted creation.  She set a timer on the side table, and dozed off almost immediately.  She snored.  When the timer went off, she shook off the cobwebs of sleep, sat up, folded up her blanket, and went on with her afternoon.  She did this every day.







Incidentally, the next thing on her agenda would have been to see about dinner.  My grandmother also served my grandfather a four course dinner every night.  Yup, you read it right, folks.

My grandfather came home from work and, often, poured himself a whiskey on the rocks to drink while he changed his clothes.  When he came back downstairs, he sat down to dinner.  The first course was always a homemade soup.  My grandmother's vegetable soup was delicious.  As a grown-up soup aficionado, I can respect the fine balance of a good vegetable soup.

Once the soup bowls were cleared, the second course was a garden salad.  My grandmother always used Bibb lettuce, which reminds me of her to this day.  She also peeled her tomatoes.  (Wow, right?)  There might have been some cucumber or green pepper involved.  The salads were simple, but completely fresh.

The third course was usually a pan-seared steak and some sort of vegetable.  The vegetables were simple, maybe green beans, and usually topped with a little margarine and salt.  I don't really remember there being a carb in that meal, though to me, it begs for some form of potato.  There were, however, rolls or bread of some sort.  (Or Maryland beaten biscuits, if you were lucky.  YUM.)



The fourth course was dessert, which was either frozen yogurt or fresh fruit.  (My grandfather was diabetic.)



As a full-time working mom, the afternoon nap isn't an option for me.  (Though it sounds divine.)  But I can't stop thinking about the four course dinner.  Durel and I are always keeping an eye on how healthily we eat, though we each have penchants for unhealthy things.  (Me = queso.  Durel = donuts.)

But you have to give it Grandmom.  For all of the fad diets and low-fat foods and just plain processed foods out there, the dinners that she served to Granddad were awesome.  They were low fat. They involved good proteins.  They involved a lot of fresh vegetables, and quite frequently, fresh fruit.  They were substantial, but not heavy.  In short, they were awesome.

I feel proud and inspired to totally recognize that Grandmom was on to something.  That something is healthy eating.  And I'm going to try it.  What I mean by that is this:  I am going to make a huge pot of soup this weekend.  And a massive salad.  I may even use Bibb lettuce this week as an homage.  I am going to buy lean proteins and fresh veggies and Durel and I are going to eat like my grandparents for a week or two.  I'll report back on how we feel and how it goes.    

We will make one slight change, though:  We will watch Modern Family and 30 Rock instead of Jeopardy after dinner.  

I think Grandmom would be okay with that.

Bibb lettuce to you all,
Heather
 
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