Food is Love

Kendall: Friday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has affected so many of us, Annette and I included. We are moms: Annette’s beautiful daughter is 13. My little guy is 15 months. And at the moment, it’s difficult to find the motivation to talk about food, post a recipe or schedule another book signing. I only want to hold my baby, focus on my family, send love and peace to those stricken with grief in Newtown and try to figure out what to take away from something so unbelievably heartbreaking.

In the last few days, I’ve thought about how much I want to offer kindness and compassion to every person, everyday, myself included. I’ve realized how disconnected we often are from the people around us, be it loved ones or complete strangers. I’ve felt relief and peace by immersing myself in love from my munchkin, my hubby, family and friends. I’ve considered what protecting my child and my family means to me. I’ve contemplated what it means to be a parent and what a parent’s job really is. And I’ve realized how important it is to me to get away from the cell phone and computer, turn off the tv and just be present with myself and the people around me.

So those things aren’t about food, cooking, or the kitchen necessarily, but they are connected. And in fact, preparing and eating food can be the center of most of what I mentioned above.

As a mom, I prepare food for my family with love. I put together healthy and tasty meals and snacks for my kiddo, knowing that he will grow and thrive in large part because of it. He’s so interested in watching me chop, stir, season, and he often gets his own spoon and pot to stir on the kitchen floor (which keeps him occupied for about 30 seconds).

Food is a way to express love, to help balance and heal, to promote strength and renewal.

Loved ones come together over meals, providing an opportunity to be kind and compassionate, to connect, share, laugh and just be present.

Last night over a simple dinner of lentils, roasted root veggies, rice and kale, my little family talked about the things in our lives for which we are grateful. My baby is a little over a year old, and I swear as I explained what it means to be thankful and my hubby and I shared what we are thankful for, he listened intently and understood it on some level. He then babbled away, surely sharing with us the things for which he’s grateful.

So while I’m not inspired to keep up with food tips, recipes and kitchen talk right now, I’ve rediscovered that food is a catalyst for so much beyond fueling and supporting our bodies. Food is compassion. Food is kindness. Food is tradition. Food is healing. Food is connection. Food is gratitude. Food is love. And those are things on which I do want to focus – now and always.