I never realized just how essential grandparents are until becoming a parent. Growing up, both sets of mine lived a long car ride away, so visits were reserved for holidays or summer vacations. Even still, my grandma (who turned 100 last month!) taught me valuable life lessons, like the importance of travel, letter writing, and doing something active every day. She’s also the reason I indulge in dessert daily (after finishing my dinner, of course). I can only imagine how much more wisdom I would’ve gained had we resided closer.
Luckily, my daughter has four grandparents she gets to see—and be spoiled by—on a weekly basis. But besides buying her cute clothes and giving her sweet treats, they provide a love that goes deeper than any daycares ever could. Her relationships with “Oma,” “Papa,” “Amah,” and “Kong Kong”—though all vastly different—are uniquely special.
In honor of National Grandparents’ Day on September 13, we decided to shine the spotlight on a handful of our area’s finest gramps and grannies. Turn to page 16 to read about why they love the role, how the pandemic has changed things, and the lessons they hope to pass on to their littles. It’s a feel-good story that tugs at all the heartstrings.
What else do we (literally) have cooking this month? Our feature story, “Veggie Delights” (page 71), highlights 33 plant-based plates that are so good even meat-eaters might find their mouths watering. From dishes that are packed with produce to others that boast mock meat, it’s a colorful introduction to just how delicious and nutritious a vegetarian diet can be. We also share our favorite farms that offer u-pick produce, online ordering, or weekly veg boxes; meat-free alternatives that go beyond beans; and easy ways vegetarians can still get their vitamins.
With the onset of autumn (September 22), we figured it would be a prime time to toast to the season with refreshing hard ciders that are made, and loved, locally. Flip to “An Apple a Day…” (page 88) to read about five of our favorites and learn some fun facts about the places where they’re produced.
Enjoy the issue, and—as grandmother Ramona Nelson from Placerville says on page 16—may you “know that family and friends are more important than money; always be true to yourself; and never judge yourself by how others see you but only by how you see yourself.” Cheers!
— Megan // email@example.com