This editor’s letter appears in the February 2022 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS.
I have fond memories of food playing a strong role throughout my childhood—providing comfort, bringing me together with family, cheering me up when I was down, providing the background for celebratory events. My mom was a fan of those hearty dishes like broccoli cheese casserole, homemade macaroni and cheese, Salisbury Steak, and mashed potatoes. My grandmother loved nothing better than whipping up a batch of homemade tortillas, tamales, or a big pot of refried beans.
After I got married, I dabbled in cooking here and there, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that my interest in finding and perfecting recipes developed. When my kids were little, I found myself with more time at home and began experimenting. Once I started trying to make healthier choices for myself and exercising regularly, I channeled that into focusing on healthier meals for our family.
Even though we’re a busy household with two working parents and two active (and hungry!) teenagers, I try to focus on meal planning and making sure we eat at home at least four to five nights a week when possible. My husband has mostly taken over the grocery shopping, which I love. I’m the person in the house who tries to make sure we have fruits and/or vegetables with each meal, and not just a plate loaded with meat and pasta or potatoes. Over the years, I’ve collected cookbooks from some of my favorite authors in the health and wellness space, such as Hungry Girl, Skinnytaste, and Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food.
Some of our family’s favorite memories include gathering around the island in our kitchen or sitting down for a simple dinner at our kitchen table after a long and busy day. We’ve been doing that since our kids were in their highchairs and booster seats, and now they’re both driving.
There are many ways to express love. For me, it’s that first cup of coffee my husband brings me in the morning, baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies or brownies from scratch when I know my family has had a hard week, or making a big pot of soup full of all the veggies or black beans with a dollop of Greek yogurt. I guess you can say food has become my love language. I hope it’s something my kids will remember and carry on even when they leave our home.