As a trained chef, I know how to cook well. I can get really gourmet, complete with a fancy presentation. Or keep it simple and homey. But in all my years cooking, there was one ingredient that is the most important to add when cooking for other people and for myself. You must put love in it! Lovingly making something for someone else takes food to another level. It goes beyond the presentation and beyond the ingredients. Love is the best spice to add.
Yesterday afternoon the temperature dropped, the wind picked up and it was nasty outside. My loving husband, Noel, a hardworking Irishman, was out in the weather working, as he always does. I don’t know how he does it, the high temps and the bitter cold. Everyday plastering walls for someone else. It’s really labor intensive so he needs lots of calories to keep going! It’s times like this when I make him some LOVE!
Last night I made an apple pie with apples I got last fall and that kept pretty well. I do not make small, thin pies. I believe if you want to make a pie you should make it hardy and substantial. It should be filling and yummy at the same time. But simple! With good apples you don’t need to add a lot of sugar–just a sprinkling-most pies I taste are way too sweet! Some cinnamon and my favorite Irish mixed spice and some dabs of butter! Simple! Yes I use butter and I put fresh lard in the crust too! Better for you than anything else! And of course I put in the love. Loving thoughts of him, thankfulness that he is in my life, and for all he does for us. Like a prayer to Creator as I roll out the pastry and peel and cut up the apples. My loving thoughts of him are putting that all important ingredient in–love.
Try this with your family or friends–put some love in there, think good thoughts of who you are cooking for and then throw out all of your fancy cook books and expensive ingredients! You won’t ever need them again!