Sunday, January 8, 2012

Food, Family History and Genealogy

When I pondered on what to write for this post, I thought about how much food is tied into family history and genealogy. Yesterday we took my mother and her husband out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary, which actually was ten days ago. Since the nasty whatever bug hit most of us after Christmas we put dinner off until we felt better. Two of our sons joined us, so we had a nice family visit. We ate at McGrath's Fish and Chowder House, as they had a lobster special and my mother likes lobster. 

Do you have some favorite foods? Do you have a favorite place or restaurant to eat at? Do you ever discuss family history or genealogy when you sit down to eat with family? Food, being one of the basic necessary elements for survival, seems to be a natural component of spending time with our families, relatives and even fellow genealogy friends.

Thirteen years ago I became acquainted with a wonderful friend when we met on the school playground. Her son was starting kindergarten and my youngest son was in first grade. For me it was a wonderful letting go time, as this was my sixth child to send off to school and now I could focus more on family history. For her it was a difficult letting go time, as her son is her only child. Over the years we have met once a month for lunch in various restaurants, as we explore the options for local dining. We go to places our spouses might never go to and often end up going back with them later. For these lunches we include our friends, even some of my genealogy friends. My friend is not into genealogy, but she patiently listens to our discussions of the latest news and goings on in our genealogy circles.

My favorite foods include a wide variety. I do not care for fish, except for clam chowder and shrimp, so one might question how McGrath's would be one of my favorite places, but they actually have other great types of food.
My favorite Mexican restaurant, the Hacienda, is a small place at the closest strip mall. My favorite foods there are the Avocado Chicken Tostada and the Fajitas. Having lived in Guatemala for my mission, I do tend to like the more natural Mexican foods.
For sushi my family likes Sushi Kata, another small place in a different strip mall. The guys buy me a teriyaki chicken dinner. My second son served his mission in Hawaii and brought back a taste for sushi.
We have a local German restaurant, Gustav's, and it is fun to try ethnic dishes of my ancestors. The shepherd's pie is one of my favorites there.
While in England and Norway, we tried many ethnic foods in family homes and restaurants. When I get hungry for this type of food I often visit the World Market. For the holidays I like my family to sample foods from the countries of our ancestors.
Other favorite restaurants are Olive Garden (we have no Italian ancestry), Happys Chinese food (we have no Chinese ancestry), and the Rivershore, which offers a general American dining selection.

Some of my favorite dining experiences are with a few fellow genealogists, when we can have a hearty discussion of our work and bounce ideas off each other. On several occasions I have been treated to a meal by those I work with or have done work for. That to me is one of the best payments for the work I do.

One thing that is certain in doing genealogy work, you must keep yourself well nourished. I find when I am working, whether at home or in a research facility, I must take time to eat good meals. My brain kind of goes to mush when I do not eat well.

So, what are your favorite foods, places or restaurants to eat at, people to eat with, etc.?

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