Food = Love
My first experience with love and food (& the love of food!) started when I was a small child.
My grandma Dorothy provided both. I couldn't wait to go to my grandparents' house in Queens, NY to get lots of hugs & kisses, a toy, and best of all, a huge meal, always starting with canteloupe or grapefruit (depending on the season), a salad, then 3 main dishes. She worked with my grandfather at their fabric store & took Wednesdays off to clean house, shop and cook for the week, so Sunday was really her only day off and she still cooked all day.
She usually made my favorites, stuffed cabbages w/ meat & rice in a sweet sauce w/ raisins. Always chopped liver w/ egg & onion served on a wedge of iceberg lettuce for the holidays. There were always dried fruits and nuts out on the table for nibbling. I would eat until my stomach hurt.
My best memory of her was an elegant woman with her fancy clothes, hair and makeup wearing a house coat or shift all the time!!! If you didn't ask for second helpings, her standard line was "what's the matter? you didn't like it?".
She had an ongoing thing with my husband, always as we were leaving she would say "Henry, I made you a little something to take home", and out came a large aluminum pan of either homemade baked beans w/ hot dogs baked inside, or nicely wrapped meatloaves especially made and only for his consumption.
Food = Love.
My grandmother has been gone for about 6 years. I think of her often as I am cooking for large amounts of people in my TINY kitchen. But she had a great saying, which rings true: "If there is room in your heart, then there is room in your home".
For me, food has always been about love and caring about the people that are the recipients of that meal. So, you better ask for seconds and thirds & know that I love you!!!