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Meals Are An Intergenerational Activity At Laurie’s House


Laurie’s son Paul creates gourmet meals on Wednesday nights.

By Laurie Stone

Welcome to the Stone house, where everyone gets a turn at the culinary wheel. There are five of us living here — my husband Randy and me, two adult sons and my 80-something-year-old mom. Thankfully, everyone takes a turn one night a week procuring dinner. Over time, five distinct styles have emerged.

The Start of the Week

I kick things off on Sunday. I’m known as the “frugal” chef. I like to take whatever’s in the cupboard, fridge and freezer and throw it together. This makes for perfectly acceptable, if uninspiring meals — like ravioli or pasta with meat sauce. I hate wasting money or food so I’m happy to take “what is” and try and be creative. My meals get appreciative yums, polite applause, but nothing compared to what comes later in the week.

On Monday, my older son Patrick takes over. He has become the “vegan” chef. To our delight (and Randy’s heart-stopping shock), Patrick has served up tofu for dinner. He’s taught me how to wrap those soy blocks in paper towels and “compress” them underneath heavy pans to get the moisture out. The other night, Patrick baked tofu in teriyaki sauce and all of us (even Randy) were amazed at how good it was.

Mid-Week Meals

Tuesday, it’s my Mom’s turn. She lovingly made burgers and mac and cheese when we were kids. Now she’s officially retired from laboring over a hot stove and I can’t blame her. Instead, Mom’s our “practical” chef, going to the various gourmet markets and getting wonderful ready-to-eat comfort food — Turkey Tetrazzini, Chicken Piccata, or Shepherd’s Pie. She always adds a fresh salad and a French baguette. Yum.

meals, mother, worrying, hopeful, boys, asleep, pedometerThen it’s Wednesday. My son Paul, known as the “gourmet” chef, works as a cook in a restaurant. Even on his day off, he can’t wait to fiddle with those pots and pans. Where most of us start dinner 45 minutes beforehand, Paul starts prepping at 2 p.m., chopping and dicing vegetables, using ingredients such as coconut milk, dragon fruit and micro greens. Last week, he made Chilean sea bass with risotto and green and white asparagus. He plates with the eye of an artist and I swear to God, you’d think you were dining in the finest Manhattan restaurant.

Mysteriously (or maybe not), there’s never leftovers after Paul’s meals. So it’s Thursday when Randy, known as the “wine” chef, kicks in. My husband was a busy executive and never quite got into the kitchen routine. But he does have an eye for a bargain. During this pandemic, local restaurants have offered great family meals for a quarter of what they usually charged. Where Randy shines is selecting a great bottle from his “cellar” — usually a delicious red and if we’ve been really good, sometimes a bottle of bubbly. What could be better?

Week’s End

Friday and Saturday are free days. Before the pandemic, we’d go to a restaurant and we can’t wait to get back! In the meantime, there’s always take-out sushi or pizza.

The other night we all sat around the table. I looked at the smiling faces of my family and realized someday I’ll miss these times. We all came together, gave the gift of food in our own way, and there was no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


2 Responses to “Meals Are An Intergenerational Activity At Laurie’s House”

  1. Diane says:

    This is just lovely, Laurie! The joy of family. Cooking. Eating. Visiting. That is truly what the Pandemic has given me as well!

  2. Laurie Stone says:

    Thanks so much, Diane!


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