Food is love. In so many ways, whether we grow it, buy it, prepare it, or serve it, the act of sharing food is a way of showing that we care for another. Our holidays and rituals often have food associated with them, and they involve rituals of planning and shopping and preparing that invest the food with memory and meaning far beyond its nutritional value, flavor, and calorie count.
And I don’t cook. It’s not that I can’t cook, in fact, like many women, I learned to cook at my mother’s elbow and even went through a period in high school where i prepared dinner each night for my family in exchange for not having to do the dishes. It didn’t last for long. If I were going to cook, I wanted to create. But I’m not interested in eating as much as I am in creating.
Luckily, I married a man who enjoys cooking and has cooked for me and our family since the beginning of our relationship. He cooks for holidays and occasions, he cooks for my friends and family, and he cooks each and every day, day in and day out, even when he doesn’t want to, even when he doesn’t feel like it. And each and every meal is made with love.
This morning, Easter morning, he had already planned to make buttermilk biscuits from scratch. Inspired by a meal last week outside of Nashville at the Loveless Cafe, he looked up a recipe, bought a quart of buttermilk, and decided to see if he could make biscuits as good as the ones we ate last week.
And when he got ready to cook this morning, I got out my camera to capture the steps in the process. (I’m lucky that he is a good sport about my photography–even when it gets in his way!) So I snapped some shots of the biscuits in process. As I was taking pictures I was also thinking about my friend Karen’s Make With Me invitation at the NWP ianthology this month–which is all about making food. I knew I was unlikely to contribute a food make since i really don’t make food…but with my photos in hand and Geoff’s great food make, I was inspired to use the photos to build a movie about the biscuits.
The biscuits were amazing…and delicious! And he even made lattes at home to go with them. Making the video was fun too…completed start to finish on my phone. This is my first solo video…I’ve done bits and pieces before, but never the whole thing and never on my phone. So it felt good to put this together. And it’s funny, I’ve written about making biscuits before…here...and the memories entwined in that process of making food in my childhood. Even for someone who doesn’t cook, food is associated with memories and with love. My Easter, with an empty nest and no kids at home, was filled with food and love today as Geoff cooked for me this morning and reveled in his own creation and my creation based on his creation…and then later cooked for my parents, treating us all to an Easter dinner made with love, creating space for talk and memories and full bellies.
In many ways the video I made today was a love letter back to my husband for the love he puts into the food he makes. And the process of making with someone else in mind fills me, as the maker, with love and appreciation. Food is love. And today, making this movie (about food) was love too.