Dear Grandparenting: I figured I would be quite the busy bee cooking up meals when I sold my home and moved in with my daughter and grandchildren.
Cooking is my hobby and their kitchen is to die for. I think it is the nicest room in the house. There’s a high ceiling, big windows and counter space galore. It has a fancy stainless steel range and refrigerator. They even have a “warming drawer” to keep prepared meals from getting cold. There’s this little eating nook with a nice round table, TV and comfy chairs.
Are you ready for this? There is next to nothing cooking in that kitchen. The kids love their carry-out delivery like Chinese and pizza. My daughter likes to eat out with friends or people from work.
I have been here three months and cooked a grand total of seven family meals. Is this going on everywhere or is my family just different? Sammy Sue Jarrett, San Jose, California
Dear Sammy Sue: A funny thing happened on the way to the kitchen becoming the show dog of so many 21st century American homes, filled with high-end furnishings, fish poachers and copper pots, and enough motors, chips and sensors to impress any techie.
There’s a whole lot more flash in kitchens nowadays and a whole lot less cooking. One fact says it all: Americans are now spending more on prepared foods than groceries, a sure sign of the home cooking’s decline.
While prepared foods are convenient, they can fail to provide the nutritional benefits that growing grandchildren need. Worse, fast foods contain unhealthy proportions of fats, sugars and carbs that contribute to growing numbers of overweight consumers, America’s so-called “obesity epidemic.” Allowing young grandchildren to pick and choose their meals invites trouble.
Kitchens increasingly serve as the family social hub, with grandchildren floating in and out, tethered to their gadgetry. Less cooking, less conversing, less time spent as the family unit breaking bread together. We don’t like it, but that’s the way the kitchen of 21st century America is trending.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Tee Sherman, of Charlottesville, Virginia, was caring for grandson Timmy while the parents were away. When Timmy came down with a cold, he asked his grandfather to call the school to explain why he was absent.
“Just say I’m sick with a cold for today and probably tomorrow. And the next day and the day after that aren’t looking real good either.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.