"I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give." ~Julia Child
Food holds a different meaning for everyone. In my family, we love food so much that we are required to put limits on what and how much we consume. Food is a temptress for us. For other people it is strictly a form of nourishment and they have no problem pushing away from the table. You know the type, the one who says, "Oh, I forgot to eat lunch today." If only...
In Marty's family, food is love. Marty once said tenderly and without a touch of irony, "I love food". He meant it. I can't think of a single food he doesn't like and he never complains about my cooking, no matter how egregious. I like to cook for Marty. He is a huge fan of Southern cooking particularly fried chicken. I am a Southern cook and I can prepare a killer fried chicken...literally.
My best tasting fried chicken is covered in white flour, salt and pepper and then fried to a crispy brown in two inches of oil. I never used lard as my grandmothers did but I did start out using Crisco before moving to Canola oil in an effort to use a "healthier" oil. But the truth is Southern fried chicken along with sweet tea and buttered biscuits cut short the life of several men in my family. I care about Marty and I don't want him to go down the same path so I only cook "real" fried chicken once a year on New Year's Day.
Cooking healthy food for a loved one can be a sign of love and affection. I believe the time, effort and creativity that go into cooking a healthy and nourishing meal signals to your family and friends that you care. What do you think? Do you cook for the people you love? Does someone who loves you, cook for you?