I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more, my grandma is my favorite person ever. We call her Nonnie and say that most of her genes skipped a generation, my mom, and went straight to me. We’re two peas in a pod when we want to be, and other times we think so much alike we can’t help but clash heads.
Her birthday happens to fall just weeks before Christmas and so it has always been a sore subject as far as celebrations are concerned. I am always so glad to have an April birthday because of this fact. I’ve long considered April birthday’s to be the optimum birthday month due to their even spacing between all major holidays.
Pretty much guarantees April babies are perfect.
Knowing I would be coming home to visit for Christmas a week post my Nonnie’s birthday I wanted to do something special for her. It’s hard to explain to a person just how much they mean to you in words sometimes, I am much better at giving things to signify my love than using words. So I began the quest for the perfect Nonnie gift.
For as long as I can remember my Nonnie has been cooking fabulous meals. She is not only an exquisite chef, but she cooks things like chicken a la king in puff pastry shells or smoked duck on any given Tuesday. She’s amazing. We mark holidays by her cooking, the blindingly bright Easter eggs a perfect companion to her world famous, and top secret, carrot cake recipe. Cornish game hens and cranberry smoked beans surrounded by family for Thanksgiving. The list goes on. Her cooking is the best way she shows love.
After some searching I found Martha + Marley Spoon, a concept much like the popular Hello Fresh, except Marley Spoon is a little more complicated in it’s recipes, which I loved. I ordered her a subscription including steak, onion rings and a chimichurri and a one pan sausage roast. I set the delivery to arrive on her birthday, and was disappointed when it arrived late (late presents are a pet peeve of mine). But the package did seem to arrive all in one heavy, insulated piece.
When I got home we got to sharing love the way my Nonnie taught me, with a few sturdy pans and plenty of butter. We began side by side, catching up on everything possible after living thousands of miles apart for over a year. One by one my mama and grandpa wandered in to help. Soon enough we were all passing pans and chopping onions, with plenty of tears, side by side in their tiny kitchen.
We ran out of Panko before I was done with the onion rings but luckily we had some in the cupboard for backup. Into the oven it all went, steak added to a pan to be seared and the smell of together filling the kitchen once more. The dishes were quickly served with chimichurri for good measure, and everyone sat down to judge my gift.
It was delicious. My grandparents raved about the onion rings for days to come. They told everyone at Christmas and I wouldn’t be surprised if Santa himself got the recipe in the mail. They were that good, and simple too!
The next night we gave the one pan sausage roast a go. I overlooked the fennel portion of the description on the site, and was a little nervous I would end up hating it. I find fennel to be far too close to licorice, which is one of my least favorite things. This dish was far more simple, and glass after glass of wine was poured while we diced and plopped ingredients onto the single baking sheet. It was also delicious, although it did not measure up to the first night’s steak and onion rings.
Marley Spoon accomplished exactly what I needed it to. Through it’s simple yet impressive dishes and easy to follow recipes it brought my family together and let my Nonnie know just how much I loved her. All the while reminding us all how much her love of cooking as meant to us over the years.
If you get a chance, I would recommend inviting some friends over to cook together and share a Marley Spoon meal or two.