Looking for yummy recipes

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am a happy, happy mom. This weekend my college freshman is coming home. I got to see her one weekend in Oxford, but this is different. Nothing is better than going to sleep with your child home and safely tucked into their own bed. I don’t care how old they are or think they are.

We’ll manage to squeeze in some mommy time as she visits with friends, and we even have the weekend’s meals already planned. One evening out, one evening with friends, and then I’m cooking for her before she heads back on Sunday.

I’m going to make her favorite vegetable soup to take back with her and one of her grandmother’s pound cakes. Of course, when they live in a dorm, it is hard to put much in those tiny refrigerators.

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With fall in the air, I’m looking for some new recipes to cook for my bunch and I’m hoping our readers can help. I would love for someone to send me a beef stew recipe, and I’m looking for a chili recipe that is made with pieces of meat instead of ground meat. I have a soon-to-be daughter-in-law that doesn’t like ground meat, so I’m looking for ways to adjust some of my recipes. And if you cook for just one or two and have some recipes to share, please send those. I’m really having trouble cooking for just one person at my house.

This past weekend, like most people in America, I watched much of the memorial footage for 9/11. As the names of those who died that day were read, I had no trouble remembering that day and how it affected me. That day was truly one of those moments you never forget where you were and what was going on.

I was almost to work when the first plane hit, and then we watched in horror as the days events unfolded. When the third and fourth planes crashed a sense of panic settled into me that I had never felt.

Six months earlier my husband had passed away, and my family was just settling into a new and unfamiliar routine. I couldn’t sleep at night, and would spend nights watching the news channels endlessly. I was convinced that the attacks weren’t over and that it was just a matter of time before our unseen enemies struck again. If this was my reaction way down here in Natchez, I cannot imagine what every day was like for the people who lived in those areas.

Life returned to a new normal here in our town but we all knew that our lives as Americans had forever changed. Even now, 10 years later, I’m a little nervous to get on a plane and I watch people as they sit in the airport with different thoughts than I did before.

I’ve been to Ground Zero twice since that day. The first time Holly and I went after her graduation in 2003 and the destruction was still very visible in the area, and the hole that existed there was very unsettling. This past summer, I was able to return with Matthew and Emily, and you could see the new area that was unveiled this past Sunday.

Even though the scenery was much different, the feeling in the area was not. People were quiet as they surveyed the area, strangers spoke to each other about that day and where they were, and tourists stopped police officers and construction workers and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

It still is an eerie feeling to know we are not immune to the attack of those who begrudge us our freedoms. But it is those freedoms that make us the country that we are and give us the resilience to move on.

Christina Hall writes a lifestyle column for The Nattchez Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.