Tag Archives: baking

Food should be a Love Language

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Many years ago someone wrote a book about the 5 Love Languages and how to “speak” each other’s language.  It was a fine book, but they failed to mention my favorite Love Language… FOOD!  Ever since I was a young girl, I have baked and cooked for the people I love.  I learned to bake banana bread for my family in 4th grade.  In college, I would go home to do laundry during Sunday afternoons.  While my laundry was running, I would make cookies or Rice Krispy bars for my friends back at school.  In our Youth Ministry days, I told our teens that they could stop by our house any time and I would make them a snack.  Several made it a habit to stop by after school for a cookie or popcorn.  And on their birthdays, I would make my youth group girls a special batch of my famous strawberry lemonade, frozen in a zip lock with a bow on it.  These are ways I showed love.

This last weekend we had our first “Leaders Retreat” at our house.  We are in University ministry, and this last year we launched our first 4 groups on 4 campuses with 8 more in the works for 2013.  So now that we have leaders, we need to train them.  My husband did two days worth of teaching, training, and planning with our students.  I made all the meals for them.  I literally started prepping 3 days before the event.  I made the base for a cold press coffee cooler drink that the students love.  It takes 24 hours to brew.  I made the menu and sent my husband to the store while I taught school during the day.  Then when our car broke down, I walked to the store myself for the last few ingredients that needed to be purchased fresh.

In addition to preparing meals from scratch and washing dishes about 10 times a day, I taught a cookie baking workshop in my kitchen.  I told them, “Food makes friends- especially hungry University students.”  I have never seen a college kid turn down a home made cookie.  I send them with my husband to his teaching seminars all around the country and they make him very popular.  I send them as gifts to students when I hear that it’s their birthday.  Now our students could invite others to their groups by passing out cookies and a flyer. Cookies open doors and iced coffee opens hearts.  Food should definitely be considered a love language.

Please pass the “Salad of Lettuce”

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When we lived in Mexico, we invited our Mexican friends over for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  I included tortillas for a touch of familiarity for our friends, but I assure you that was the first time that tortillas were present on my Thanksgiving table.  I remember one of the little boys sat staring at his plate, dumbfounded.  Then he whispered loudly to his mother, “Que es esto?/ What is this?”

She quickly shushed him and explained hurriedly, “Es ensalada de lechuga./ It’s salad of lettuce.”  I stiffled a giggle at her description.  I can only imagine what turkey and mashed potato tacos tasted like to them.  But they ooh-ed and ahh-ed appropriately throughout the meal.  Then once I brought out the pumpkin pie, they thought they died and went to heaven!  From then on, I have had regular requests from my friends (in both Costa Rica and Mexico) to make pumpkin pie at all times of the year.

Last year, I made 11 pies during the month of November.  Each time my Latino friends rolled their eyes in ecstasy as they savored every bite.  Then they asked for the recipe.  I doubt that any of them will actually USE the recipe, since it’s much easier to just ask the Gringa to bring a pie.  But they loved it.

So at the end of last November, I cleared out the store shelf and bought a dozen cans to last throughout the year.  Wouldn’t you know it, this is the year that the store decided to stock pumpkin pie filling ALL YEAR LONG.  They’ve never had it year round until the year I stock up.  Well, never mind, I’ve been well prepared all year.

So I started THIS holiday season off right.  This past weekend I made 5 pies.  Some were for the school bake sale this week, and others were to treat my kids’ classmates to a bite of spicy heaven.  But my middle daughter has decided that she does not want to share her pie with her friends.  She would rather keep the pie here at home and make some less-coveted treat like pumpkin bars or chocolate chip cookies for her friends.  I assured her, I have more pie where those came from!