I love . . .

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompts:  Party Animals? asks:  After spending time with a group of people, do you feel energized and ready for anything or do you want to hide in the corner with a good book?

I Love

I love a good party ’cause I love to talk.

I love to talk ’cause then I can get you talking.

I love to get you talking ’cause I love listening.

I love listening to you ’cause I love having you in my life if only for an hour or two.

I love having you in my life ’cause I love hearing about what you are having in your life.

I love hearing about your life ’cause I love that you’ll share your adventures with me.

I love that you’ll share your adventures with me ’cause I love knowing about you.

I love knowing about you ’cause I love finding out what we have in common.

I love finding out what we have in common ’cause I love feeling connected with you.

I love feeling connected with you ’cause I also love seeing what is different about us.

I love seeing how we’re different ’cause I love understanding you my sister and my brother.

I love understanding you ’cause that is one of life’s great joys.

Understanding is one of life’s great joys ’cause then we can feel kinship and friendship.

I love feeling kinship and friendship ’cause that way, whatever we’re doing, it’s going to be a beautiful time.

I love having a beautiful time with you ’cause that is my kind of richness.

I love that kind of richness ’cause it even makes doing the dishes after the party okay with me.

I don’t love doing the dishes though.

But it’s okay if you’re there and we’re talking.

That I love.

I’ll wash, you dry.

Unwashed dishes in a sink; an authentic situation.
I’ll wash, you dry.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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The Best Meal I Ever Had

Denver Nightscape

It happened in Denver (Photo credit: dagpeak)

The best meal I ever had is one I can’t remember. We drove to a place where the food was legendary, called the Fourth Story Restaurant, in a classy part of town. But I don’t have a recollection of what was on the menu. I know it was candlelit and we had a cozy table. I know there was a waitress and a glass of red wine.

We chatted, but really we were dancing an ancient ritual. Helping each other to go on and reach the point of celebration.  I know we ate a fine dinner, of something that tasted good.  And I know I was waiting in anticipation of the moment when my life would change forever.

When that moment came, ahhh that part is crystal clear! He gently got up from his chair and then there he was, knelt down on one knee.  “Will you marry me?” he asked.  And I said, “Yes!”

I had a beautiful ring and a smiling fiance and I myself was ecstatic with what love brought. Little did I know that the moment of his question and the joy that I felt returns to me each day so many years later. Just as it was then and yet more.

That was certainly the best meal I ever had, the one I can’t remember.

(Daily Prompt: Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten in glorious detail.)

Show your L O V E

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s also a Tuesday which is a big workday for me.  Not that I don’t take time to appreciate my special peeps and my very own special Valentine Hunny and make sure that they’ll all still “Be Mine” for a while longer . . . .

I’m sure we can find a little something to show our L O V E!

Typically people at least get Valentine’s Day cards for each other and so for you, my friends, I found these in the way of a Valentine’s Day greeting!  Hope you’ll be inspired to do a little something special in your kitchen to show your love (or at least find something fun to eat together!)


Your Love is Like a Rainbow

two single pancakes with maple syrup on a plate

Image via Wikipedia

I was definitely my Daddy’s Little Girl.  My dad was my absolute hero and one of my best childhood memories is Saturday Morning Pancakes which Dad made every single week.  He cooked ‘em and my sister and I ate ‘em.  It was a family ritual which continued with my children and their dad except that was on Sundays.

Dad’s weren’t necessarily the best pancakes in the world—they came out of an Aunt Jemima box accompanied by the ever-so-popular Log Cabin Maple Syrup which probably didn’t have any real maple syrup in it at all.  At the time I didn’t care about that.  I only cared whether I could meet the weekly challenge of, “How many can you eat?”

I know.  I know.  This wasn’t the best habit to start at an early age.  But it was definitely a tradition which created some golden times with my dad, my mom and my sister.  We’d take our time with the pancakes and talk about all kinds of things and laugh about everything.  And now that I’m writing this, I look back on it and see that it was one of my  earliest great cooking-life experiences.

I’ll never forget the first meal I made (almost) by myself.  It was meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas.  Loved getting my hands into the meatloaf to mix the egg and bread crumbs and herbs.  Loved mashing those potatoes.  This was squishy fun for a ten year old!  But the main thing I remember about it is that I made this dinner for my dad and the most exciting and rewarding part was seeing him eat that dinner.  I had placed the slice of meatloaf strategically on his plate decorated with ketchup.  The mashed potatoes were a majestic mountain with bright green peas purposefully positioned to make a colorful impression.

That was only the beginning of a lifetime of creating meals for the people I love and all the intentions that went into preparing that food.  When my dad became very ill and couldn’t eat, I was into protein shakes and made him the most god-awful raw egg conconctions in order to try to get some nutrition into him.  And being the kind of dad he was, he managed to force that goop down—not because he wanted to drink it—but because I made it for him.  I hoped the lovely pink color from the fresh strawberries I’d blended in would also cheer him up.

And then there were the “Cooking-Love-Connections.”  I perfected Veal Piccante for my boyfriend.  This was a big deal because I would go to a butcher shop in the little town where I lived and buy really expensive veal for this.  I went all out.  Pale thin veal with dark green capers and lemon sauce highlighted with bright shavings of lemon zest and green parsley!  And he loved this dinner which I then made every weekend.  Later on, the meal changed to something with brown rice and seaweed but the intention was the same:  Make the best, most delicious food for someone I love.

Next was cooking my first meal for a future husband.  And then again for another future husband.  When I first met my husband Jack, I was a vegetarian and he was a meat-and-potatoes guy.  Hmmmm, what to do.  So I invited him for dinner.  Luckily he had had a girlfriend who had been into brown rice and vegetables so I knew this type of food wouldn’t be totally foreign to him.

I opted for Deep-Fried Tofu Stew, pressed Chinese Cabbage Salad with radishes and wakame seaweed, and brown rice served with homemade pickles.

I had long since become an excellent cook, had taught cooking for over twenty-five years, and considered cooking to be a creative art.  For this meal I was not only concerned with making the food taste good but also making it look beautiful.  I went all out!  I bought new dishes that would enhance the overall aesthetic quality.  I used decorative cuts for the vegetables made with a special set of tools I had.  The table was gorgeous!

The man loved the food.  We got married.  To this day he tells people what a great cook I am and when he makes this statement, you know it is about more than just the food.  He gets my intention.

Before you conclude that I’m simply a sicko or psycho female who is bent on enticing men or earning people’s love through food, believe me when I tell you that this is how cooking is for me every single day.  Maybe I’m not buying new plates very often, but I do look at the entire picture when it comes to preparing food—even if it’s just for myself.  Cooking is art.

I love putting the flavors and details together when cooking a meal.  I always serve my food in serving bowls and platters even if it’s just for me and my husband.  When my kids were little, the carrots were carrot flowers and the broccoli stood up like trees.  My cooking creations are always colorful if nothing else.

I have a postulate—an intention—when I cook that everything about the food and its presentation will bring health, joy, beauty and love.  I’ve been practicing this since I was a very young meatloaf cook.

My mother always said that a nutritious meal has lots of different colors in it.  I think she was right!  And my best cooking instructors said, “The healthiest food will also be the most delicious and the most beautiful.”

 And so it is.

What was the first meal you cooked for someone you loved?