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Kansas Food

I was simmering up a batch of chicken and noodles tonight.  I slow cooked the chicken and veggies in a crock pot, just to try it out.  The carrots were just perfect, no mush.  Tender chicken.  Cooked the noodles in my big pot and added it all together.  Ed stood beside me and I stirred the pot.  And then I realized that I didn’t have mashed potatoes.

Flashing before my eyes I could see piles of chicken noodles, beef noodles, noodles loaded up on top of a mountain of mashed potatoes.  White and black big metal roasters in the church kitchens, at the 4H building, at funeral dinners.  Beef braised tender all day by grannies and aunties.  My neighbor standing over the pit he dug in the backyard to smoke that side of beef for the big community dinner down at the lake.  Long lines of all the town folks waiting to get their beef sandwiches before the fair kicks off.

It’s been a good day, with prayers answered, the enjoyment of seeing the kids perform for the musical, the blessing of friends.  The fridge quit, but Ed thinks he can fix it.  But I am just tired from all kinds of things and stupid worry and remodeling and stupid worry and wondering why sad things happen to innocent babies.

So I just started bawling.  And I decided it must be About Mashed Potatoes.

In Kansas.  In Kansas, up there on the high plains, we eat mashed potatoes.  We pour noodles over mashed potatoes and eat mashed potatoes.  We get together and make big roasters full of tender meat and it tastes good and smells good and we eat it, all together we eat it together.

Recipes will follow when I’m not crying into the pot.


About onlifeandbeans

I like to make the adventure taste good by cooking tasty, wholesome food. Most of what I've learned in cooking, I've picked up from cookbooks and lots of practice. (Thank you, Fannie Farmer, for the right start. ) I so appreciate cookbooks that tell how and why to do something; that's why I do the same for my readers. I want to know what is in my food. I want my family to sit down and share a meal together. I want our food to taste good. Home-cooking takes time, but it gives back rich dividends in budget minding, good health and familial love. One meal at a time.

6 responses »

  1. love you and love your blog!!!! I returned your book today! Thanks for letting me look at it. You can check out my blog if you want. It is not nearly as fun as yours! I am looking forward to trying the pancakes and tortillas!

  2. There’s no place like home. I love you, dear friend. Yesterday was just one of those days for remembering ‘the ol’ days’ I guess. Don’t worry about crying into the pot, it just adds a bit o’ love and salt.

  3. Amy said it best – there is NO place like home, and sometimes we just have to cry, and maybe send Ed to the store for some instant mashed potatoes? Oh no, you would never… (and really, they wouldn’t even come close to cutting it and might even cause more tears!).

    Hang in, dear friend, and thank you for your openness and vulnerability. Much love.

  4. Thanks for being so honest. I wish I had read this before I came over so I could have offered more kind words or support or something! I understand “stupid worry”. Believe me.
    Thanks for opening up your sweet and lovely home today, for feeding the masses, and for being such a good sport about everything. To me you typify “Rolling with the punches” and I appreciate that a lot.

    AND I love, love, love my new chair!!!!

  5. Hey! I love chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes! That was definitely the BEST day for our school cafeteria growing up! Anyway, once I told lots of Americans that I was going to cook us up something very, very American (a treat cause we were all singles living FAR from there). I made C&N&MP. None of them were from the mid-west. None of them had eaten them before! They all thought I was crazy, “Why would you serve a noodle (starch) over potatoes (starch)?”. They all partook, though, and it was heaven for me!

  6. Dearest Andrea, a good cry can often make the sun come out again. Especially when you have a wonderful person standing next to you who lets you use his shoulder as a hanky!

    On to the noodles and mashed potatoes. Not a Pacific Northwest thing. However, I was equally surprised in Japan that people would eat stew with potatoes in it over a big bed of rice. Of course, I am now of that camp and the rice cooker just went off!

    Jun’s singing in the back ground, “I love Jesus! I want me to love you! I like Jesus, I like Jesus, I don’t want a monster. I want Jesus. She wants me!” Don’t ask me how Jesus became a “she.” Just quoting!

    Love you! Kim


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