Giving Love: One Bite at a Time

First of all, I am a foodie.  I love reading about it, talking about it, looking at it, tasting it, planning for it, buying it, etc. And while I am no longer going to top DC and NYC and Philadelphia restaurants anymore (I left my job to be at home with my three kids), compromising on delicious food is not an option.

So as I was making croutons this morning for #3’s preschool teacher’s caesar salad (she was today’s love recipient today), I realized cooking is my love language.  Its therapy for me to cook and share an experience of taste with those I’m cooking for.

I love to entertain and making dishes for my family and friends.  I always feel good (and self-conscious at the same time) when someone compliments me on a dish and asks for the recipe, though.  That conflict of feelings, combined with my personal issues with food and weight from childhood (two words: “big boned” – need I say more?), really limited my vision of how to interact with those around me with food.

Today, as I watched my #3’s preschool teacher enjoy her caesar salad, I thought more about blogging about the experience of cooking with and for others.  I got a hug for the caesar (before she even ate it!).  Who doesn’t like hugs?!

RECIPES: This dressing and this crouton recipe – minus parsley.

Now that I am a SAHM, having somewhat more time and less money have forced me to menu plan and be more creative.  Because I love to cook and my #3 is at home and a very “busy bee” as her grandmother calls her, cooking is a way I can connect with my daughter and keep myself sane for 30 minutes – sometimes more.

The unintended benefit of those three changes in my life have resulted in some amazing times spent with my kids (I’ve also started cooking with my boys) in the kitchen over the last two months.  I have also felt and seen a real change in how my kids are learning to give love to those in our community.

On Monday, we made yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting (#2’s choice).  Looking at the 12 cupcakes on the counter, I knew I had a choice.  My whole family could connect through food and gain massive amounts of weight or we could commit to giving part or all of what we make away.

So since it was Veterans’ Day, I sent my two boys with two cupcakes to our WWII veteran neighbor and another to our single gentleman neighbor.  My daughter brought one the next to her preschool teacher.

Let me tell you, there is NOTHING, I mean NOTHING more fulfilling as a mom than seeing my kids jump up to get their jackets on so they can  RUN next door to give a gift of food to a neighbor (and #3’s teacher the next day)!  Seeing their flushed little cheeks getting back from giving those treats away seemed like God’s gift to me that night.  I felt like He was patting me on the back and saying, “Keep it up, Becky.  You’re on the right path.”

So here is my commitment.  I (along with my family and friends who I rope into it) will be giving love , one bite at a time.  Still figuring out how to have fun and photo-document without taking too much time away from being in the moment of cooking itself, but I promise to post pictures along the way.

Come and be a part of my journey.

— Becky

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