Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ma Ingalls

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Little House on the Prairie. I cry EVERY episode. I own 5 seasons, which is a happy thing for me since we have no English TV stations.

My favorite character is Caroline Ingalls. She's the Ma that seems to always get it right. And she can do everything. Cook. Bear children without aid of a doctor. Thresh wheat. Plow the field. Drive the team. Teach the children. Start a business when Charles has no work... and the list goes on.

Though I have threshed no wheat in my lifetime, I have felt a little closer to Ma since living in China. At least in the cooking department. The conveniences I once took for granted were very apparent upon our arrival.

"Where's the canned food section? Frozen food section? Just add water section?"

Wherever they are, they are not in China.

And so began my journey to being a bit more like Ma. If we make it, we make it from scratch. Before this year I never knew I could bake cookies without breaking them off of a premade batch prepared by those lovely people at Tollhouse. I never knew I could bake bread. I never knew I could make a casserole without a can of Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup. But it turns out it's possible! 

While it does take a whole lot longer to cook than it used to, and while I do miss those break and bake cookies, I also feel a kind of cosmic connection to my female ancestors. I become my great-grandmother making  cornbread in an iron skillet and rolling dumplings out with a glass bottle. And I am Ma Ingalls baking a fresh loaf of bread to present to my husband who has worked all day in the fields. These are feelings I don't experience just opening a box or a can.

Today I am grateful for inconvenience.


Christie Coleman said...

Today I am greatful for you and you beautiful words of wisdom! I love you!

Ginger Beckham said...

So proud of my "pioneer" daughter. You never cease to amaze me in all that you do.

Jasmin Felix said...

I am glad that you are enjoying these new experiences. Isn't God marvellous in the way He places us in circumstances so that we can actually walk in our brother's/sister's shoes? Your words certainly took me back to my youth in trinidad.