Monday, March 25, 2019

Food is Love

Five years ago I wrote a blog post about the memories I have tied to food. You can find it HERE. I was thinking of that post yesterday when Chris and I finished up watching the third season of Queer Eye. In it, they were encouraging a guy to cook, to pass down receipes to his daughter through the food they made together. One of the guys said something like, “Food is love.”

That made me pause. By no means do I think that if one doesn’t like to cook that they aren’t showing love. Of course there are other ways to do that. But I do believe that when I cook for my family; that when I think of them while I buy groceries, plan meals, cook the meals; I’m absolutely doing all of that from a place of love.

Yesterday I made turkey meatloaf for dinner. (Side note, it is amazing and you can find the recipe HERE.) When I opened my copy of the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I saw this note on the top of the page.
I’ve adopted my parents’ habit of writing a note when I try a recipe and the results of the recipe. Chris’s dad, Len, passed away just shy of five months ago. I made this recipe for him one of the first times he and Aiko, Chris’s stepmom, came to visit. Chris had mentioned that Len loved meatloaf, and he was right. I’ve never made it again and not thought of him. I doubt I ever will.

I hope I pass on the joy of cooking for those you love to my boys. The jury is still out on Liam. He’s thirteen and thrilled to eat chips and/or any carbs we happen to have. But Luke, I think he’s got it. I went to grab some leftover roasted potatoes one day over break. They were mysteriously missing from the fridge, a common occurrence in our household. Luke happened to be standing in the kitchen and asked me what I was looking for. When I told him, he said he used them the day before. I asked if he just ate them plain and he shared that his girlfriend had come over after softball practice. He wanted to feed her because she hadn’t had lunch yet so he combined the potatoes, chopped up leftover hamburgers, some cream of chicken soup, and sprinkled cheese on top. He figured that would make a casserole and baked it in the oven. Now I have no idea how it tasted, but I loved that he wanted to make sure she was fed and didn’t go the easy route, but tried to create something for her.

Tonight I looked in the refrigerator trying to decide what to make for dinner from the meals I had purchased ingredients for this past weekend. Liam came in from track and looked a little down. Glancing in the fridge, I turned to him and said, “Buttermilk pancakes for dinner?” His smile was all the answer I need.

Food is absolutely about love.