I love you. You are special. I care. I trust you. You’re welcome in my life. Thank you. These are some things I say through my food. There’s love in every bite. That may sound corny but it’s true. Cooking for others gets me excited. I enjoy thinking about who will be at the dinner table, their pallet preferences, what kind of day it has been, what’s the weather (environment and temperature play a big part in my thought process). All of these things get my creative juices flowing and I can’t wait to make the meal. I enjoy it when someone comes into the kitchen because they smell something good and ask “what are you making?” followed by a deep inhale and “mmmm..” I enjoy plating the food and just looking at it for a moment. It pleases me to see all the different colors on the plate, the way the sauce or meat juices cascade over the food. It’s inviting and sometimes too pretty to eat! I dont’ get crazy fancy or do a pretentious tower of alternating potatoes, meat and greens with a slice of fruit teetering on top. That always annoyed me in restaurants. I know it’s all about the presentation but how do you dig into it? Are you supposed to eat it in the order in which it’s presented? One slight touch from the tines and it crashes. No thanks – save it for the advertising pictures. Just give me my food in an edible format. But I digress…….
Bringing the food to the table and placing it in front of someone also makes me smile. I watch their face as they look at the meal and eagerly grab their fork. I love to watch them take the first bite and wait for their reaction. Sitting across from my father at the dinner table was my favorite place to be in those moments. He was expressive and grateful. He would give me his honest opinion, a glowing review and when I turned to my mother she would say “It’s edible.” This was her stock response. Annoying but high praise none the less. Seeing my displeasure, Dad would say “Now don’t listen to her, listen to me because I have a question.” As he picked up his empty dish and extend it to me he’d say, “Is there any more?”
When I cook I’m sharing myself. I’m expressing my feelings and I never skimp on the most important ingredient – love.