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  • Linda J. Hawkins

Fixin’s for the Family with Love

These days, the month of August marks the beginning of the school year and a close to the summer months. Many times it means a change in schedule as well as an extra bit of work for everyone in the family. Let’s celebrate this fresh start with recipes and meal-planning to give your loved ones something special to look forward to! Whether your family is going back to school or simply enjoying the changing of seasons close at hand, here are a few meal fixing tips to make your family feel extra-special and cared for:

*Plan Ahead!--Purchase meat and veggies that are featured on sale at the grocery store. Do you have one day at home during the week? Oven-roast or crock-pot simmer enough meat to separate into meals. Divided into sealed containers in the refrigerator, your work is cut nearly in half for weeknight dinners! (Try additional tips on pages 61-63 & 72 of the Southern Seasons with Memory Making Recipes Cookbook.)

*Snack Time!—There’s nothing more inviting than coming home at odd hours of the day and being welcomed into the kitchen with a plate full of snacks or appetizers. What does your family enjoy? Sliced fruit or veggies with a simple dip? Chips and salsa? These can be purchased and prepared ahead of time for an easy solution to after-school munchies. (Look for more excellent tips and recipes on pgs. 69-71 of the Southern Seasons with Memory Making Recipes cookbook.) How wonderful to have something to serve little mouths during the homework hour rather than trying to chase everyone from the kitchen as you prepare the evening meal!

*Sweet Treats!—Nothing says I love you quite like a well-planned dessert for your family. Rich desserts are surely enjoyable, but simple things can make the weekdays special for the little ones without an overabundance of sugar. What fruit is in season this week? Would your family enjoy fresh sliced peaches and blueberries with a dollop of whipped cream? What about a simple pancake crepe rolled with fruit inside and topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, honey, preserves, or a dusting of powdered sugar? Even a fresh fruit smoothie can be a well-received after-dinner treat. For a fun dessert to make with children, try the Crown Jewel Delight featured on page 109 of the Southern Seasons with Memory Making Recipes cookbook.

What special fixin’s make your family feel loved?

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