The beets, the beets! Don’t forget the beets!

My sisters and I have decided that we need to keep family traditions aliveand for us, that means through cooking!

We got together last Saturday afternoon as we made our favorite, traditional dish, Fleischkuechle. And that is what we served my last quart of canned pickled beets with (my question to you in my last post).

Pickled beets?” you might say, turning up your nose. But for all 22 Dubs grandchildren who grew up around Grandma Dubs’ table, about half of us learned to add her canned pickled beets on the top (with its juices) of this German dish, and the other half chose to eat it plain.

My sisters and I have carried on the tradition of both making this dish, and adding beets on top!

Cooking this recipe took time and patience (it’s not your standard, quick, throw-it-together type of a meal), so we allowed ourselves 3 hours to cook up a storm, and hang together in my kitchen. We took turns rolling the dough, cutting, and pinching (final step to completion!). We talked about our Mom (who taught us how to make this dish), laughed with one another – and best of all – we got our daughters in on the action!

We girls love making this dish for our Dad, so we chose this night to make it for his birthday celebration! We realize that the flavor is far greater to our palates, than to the most recent family member trying it for the first time, due to the memories connected to it. And now that Grandma and our Mother are gone, the flavor has become even more intense!

On Christmas Day this year, my family watched a very impacting movie, Mother Theresa. It was the icing on the cake – a perfect way of ending such a relaxing, beautiful day. It was a gift to me, and my family, as we went to bed that night reminded of so many of God’s blessings in our lives.

Yes, the gratitude was there. It went deep. And I won’t forget these brilliant words by Mother Theresa:

It is easy to love the people far way. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home, for this is where our love for each other must start.

Through our memories and traditions of food, we can keep that love alive in our homes!

I feel like I have it easy – because I love being with my sisters and my family. But if you are a reluctant entertainer, I’d really like to encourage you to start with your own family.

Find a traditional dish that has meaning to you – and make those flavors come to life in your own home!

(Fleischkuechle consists of dough, a meat mixture of beef, pork and onions. It’s boiled in salted water and served with fresh bread crumbs layered between and on top.)

You can view my new Crosswalk article on “singles and hospitality” here.