|Vera Johnson in one of her first kitchens. (Santa Fe, New Mexico - 1950)|
Once in a while we ate out at a restaurant after church but most Sundays she was up early and had dinner in the oven before we left for church. The aroma coming from the oven as we returned home would meet us at the front door and announce that dinner would soon be ready.
Mom loved to entertain. Many times a new family would be invited over for lunch. I would sometimes be sent as a human GPS in our guests' car to guide them from the church to our house 11 miles away. If it wasn't a church guest, it was another family from church, missionaries who were visiting or extended family. None of it seemed to fluster my mom. She loved doing something for other people and this was something she was very good at.
Most of the time a roast with potatoes and carrots would come out of the oven on Sunday. Baked chicken was another favorite. My personal favorite was a recipe she called Spanish Steak. I would ask for it as often as possible and many times she would make the effort to fix it when we asked. I never realized how time consuming that was until I tried making it myself before church one Sunday while trying to get myself and my children ready for church. I'm sure I didn't look as calm and in control as I remember she always was!
Mom has been gone more than six years now and I still have people mention how good she was at entertaining and making people feel at home and comfortable. Then they always mention her cooking.