(I've added a few updates and am reposting "Cookin' Up Some Love" from a couple of years ago in honor of the day of LOVE. Happy Valentine's Day!)
Valentine's Day is often celebrated sharing a meal or special dessert with the ones we love. Cookin' up some love is one of my favorite things to do! I've been collecting cookbooks since my hubby and I tied
the knot 31 years ago. Back then, my "go-to" cookbook was one his momma put together for a church fundraiser. Imagine my surprise when I saw she had included a recipe from me for BAGELS!!
This is pretty funny because I could barely make toast back then. Regardless, since we were stationed overseas I found myself using it faithfully to recreate my husband's favorite dishes. I learned a lot about cooking during those years we lived so far away.
I learned how breaking food with strangers can create a sense of community and family.
Once we were back in Texas--this time as new parents, I turned again to cookbooks. However, this time it was so I could lose my pregnancy "baby fat." I subscribed to Cooking Light magazine and was a faithful viewer of Graham Kerr's low fat cooking show. I learned cooking healthy was tasty especially with the use of fresh produce and herbs.
My collection includes cookbooks purchased road-trippin' from many of the great restaurants we've eaten at including: The Loveless Café, Royer's Round Top Café, The Bluebonnet Café, The Pantry, and Matt's El Ranchero.
I have cookbooks from the schools our kids attended, mom's groups, and several from churches we've attended. My cookbook collection reflects our life journey from one city to another and from our children being babies to now young adults. My maternal grandmother's cookbooks are now on our shelves as well.
Orphan recipes hold a special place in my heart. I have a folder full of these single hand-written recipes passed down to me from family members who are now gone. Touching the worn papers once lovingly written by my grandmother or my husband's grandmother brings a smile of memory to my lips. These well-used recipes are stained and yellowed, but each time I see their beautiful penmanship, I feel a little tug at my heart and know immediately what I'll be fixing for dinner.
Now that I'm living in Texas again ,I find myself preparing simple soups and salads for my vegetarian Sweet Girl, but every once in a while comfort food is what's for dinner. Sweet Girl calls it
the "comfort food trinity" -- homemade macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. We also enjoy Sweet Hubby's Gumbo he makes using my Grandmother's faded recipe.
No matter what we make for dinner, it's our time to put away the electronics and enjoy each other's company. There's just nothin' like cookin' up some love!
Until next time,
Peace, love, and cook
up some love, sweet friends!