Food is love. Yeah, that's right. I said it.
And I fully expect fitness wizards and diet mavens and health aficionados to now lay in wait, prepared to flail me with kale chips in retaliation but I stand by that statement. Food is love.
Well it is one of the ways that we show the important people in our lives how much we love them. So I suppose, more accurately it should be Food can be one of many different sorts of expressions of love. But that's too long and a trifle awkward.
Anybody can say, "I love you". And if you truly do love the person who are talking to, you absolutely should say it. Not every other sentence, that would be tedious, but often enough that they are reminded of how you feel. Sadly, too many people say it who don't mean it. The liars. Insincere "I love you's" cheapen the emotion. So in that case, how do you know if it's real? Through action. We show the people we love how we really feel about them by what we do more than by what we say.
One of the many ways that Tim shows me that he loves me is that he drives me places. He knows how I feel about being behind the the wheel of any vehicle. And what's more, he never complains. No recriminations. He never says, "For heaven's sake's Sam, it's five miles away. You are a grown adult woman. Drive yourself!!" which by rights he probably should. Instead, without a seconds hesitation, he grabs his keys and says, "Let's go".
One of the ways I show how I feel about people is through food. It's not enough to just fill the belly. A fastfood drive through will fill the hole. Nope this is bigger.
It's taking the time to find new recipes instead of slapping together the same old thing. Buying the perfect ingredients, not just making do. Tantalizing the taste buds. Making a meal not just a pitstop, but a pleasure. Paying attention so that nothing is over or under done and planning properly so that everything is timed to be finished together. It's making the food appeal to all of the senses.
This past Mother's Day Tim wasn't feeling very well. But he still insisted that I shouldn't have to cook. So when it came time for dinner, I decided that I was in the mood for Pizza. That way, he didn't have to cook either and we wouldn't be out in public spreading germs around. Bonus points, I get veggie pizza which I dearly love! When the order arrived, I was delighted to find not just my favourite kind of pizza but Tim ordered it to be made into a heart shape. Awwwwww! Now that's love. He went the extra step. It's that little bit of extra effort.
On the weekends, he always offers to make breakfast. No matter that he has been working crazy hours all week and is exhausted, on either Saturday or Sunday morning, I get to be queen of the castle, and Tim fixes breakfast. That's love. No complaints, no cranky fussing, just a beautiful breakfast :)
For my part, to be fair, most of the time I truly enjoy cooking. I like experimenting and trying new recipes. My mission most of the time is to present something at least reasonably healthy and pretty and tasty that is made of fresh ingredients. I want to bring to the table something that smells good and tastes great. And on those days when I am not in the mood to cook, I'm too tired or too grouchy or too everything, guess what? I cook anyway. Because that's how I express love.
When the boys were babies, I made my own baby food. I made my own breads and jams. I canned food from early spring peas through autumn broccoli. I made endless pots of soups and stews and casseroles. I made cakes and pies and batches of cookies that would reach to the moon and back. I encouraged them to try new things while presenting them with their favourites in equal measure. One dinner might be Oldest son's favourite, the next night, Middle sons and of course Youngest sons first choice would the following dinner. Day after day and night after night, I practically lived in the kitchen.
When we talk on the phone now, I find that we often still discuss food. It's something that we all share in common. A love of each other and a love of food. We exchange recipes. We post pictures of foods and we talk about various restaurants we've visited.
In a recent conversation with youngest son, he mentioned that while walking down a street recently he suddenly and unexpectedly detected the fragrance of what smelled exactly like the oatbread and vegetable soup that I used to make. It was such a strong memory trigger that it took him unaware. It was a good memory, cozy and warm and dare I say it? Loving. And why? Because, despite everything that all the articles I'm see recently saying that food is merely fuel for our bodies and should be treated as such, in truth, Food is Love.
At least in my house.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.