Friday, November 1, 2013

Traditionally Speaking, Food is Love

We are coming upon the 3rd anniversary of Food is Love. I could go on and say how wonderful it's been and what an honor it's been to be a part of your lives, but that's a Given! If you know anything about me or the reason / mission for this blog you'll know that I am here writing, cooking and photoing (is that a word? well it is today) is because I want to demystify the kitchen for you.
My whole mission for this blog was to encourage and inspire you to make and eat Dinner at HOME rather than grabbing something at the drive thru.
So, for this blog post I'd like to indulge myself by sharing a little story with you.
This past week I spent a Glorious time with my Cousin Dot. (Dottie as she likes to be called)
Laurie Alves Dorothy Myslivy © Food is Love
Here we are at her 80th Birthday Party!
She is a phenomenon! Up until a year ago, she walked almost everywhere. She did all of her own errands, lived independently (very well, I might add) and ran 3 or 4 Committees within her church and community.
She was an integral part of my life when my Mom was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer and also when My Mother's brother was diagnosed and subsequently passed of the same. Dot is a cornerstone in so many people's lives.

As I sat with her for the week I became noticeably overwhelmed with memories of a time of unconditional love, attention and that familial security I grew up with. 
This is exactly what I encourage through my Blog. Those feelings are what help you to be the person you become. Family is the only place you can obtain the feeling that you will be accepted and loved for YOU. That's why I encourage You to have Dinner at home and not in the backseat of a car or in front of the television or the computer screen, but At the Table, with your family. Showing them that in no uncertain terms, that they are loved and accepted. The world outside can be cold, dismissive, cruel and certainly tough to navigate. When given the Armour of Reinforced Unconditional Family Love, your Family members can be secure in the knowledge that they are a part of something that will always be a safe harbor when things get too tough out there. They'll then be able to endure and not give up because you gave them the strength to move forward.
In planning the trip I began to speak to my Cousin Diane (Dottie's daughter) about what we would be doing, and who would be coming. You see this was all a Surprise for Dottie, She had no idea that her Birthday was the center of the surprises yet to come. Family came from corners of the country to celebrate a life well lived! Me from Miami, her Niece from Rhode Island, her Son from Colorado, her Daughter from Idaho and her friends & family who lived near by, were all in on the Dottie Birthday Surprise!
Diane Myslivy Laurie Alves ©Food is Love
We planned how the surprises would go off, planned the party soiree and of course the Menu! The food for me and many of my family is an integral part of a celebration. Growing up, when we talk about Parties with our family and friends, we would always ask how the food was. Didn't you?
Many of our traditional foods are not readily available on the west coast, so part of the excitement was how would we get the ingredients to California without Dottie knowing.
I brought with me on the plane the chouri├žo. (Portuguese sausage) and found a little bakery in California where they sold our traditional breads and malassadas!
It was a coup de grande, A triple header to be sure!
We were set!

We had chouri├žo and peppers on Friday Evening. It was so awesome to see my cousins eat traditional food they don't normally have.
 (Colorado / Idaho don't have much in the way of Portuguese food either)

That night turned into a love fest. We all were sitting in the same room enjoying the Awesome Food, and had the best round of stories you can imagine. Stories of Old cars without seatbelts, getting stuck in the snow, the weekly budgets of 1954 - 1964, the hand me down dresses, the trips to VoVos on Sunday, the Church Festivals and so much more... The conversations started because Dottie's grandson wrote the most poignant birthday note to his Grandmother. He asked that if she had a moment "Could she shoot him an email or a just simply a note, telling him what Her life was like, at his age (20's)" Wow did that start a conversation among all of us! This sparked a fire in me. When Dot read the card, I immediately thought of her doing a Video for her Grandson describing what life was like at that time. (The Value of having your Grandmother telling those stories digitally right to YOU could be immeasurable.) What would you do for those memories on a file you could pull up forever? I know I would never be able to put a value on that!

Here's my thought.... This is my email : :
Share something with me via video, email, note, photos, collage, facebook wall etc....
What are your traditions? Write a note to your child, or your future generations. Share a Recipe, but also tell the story of the recipe. Don't think you can talk in the video (too shy) but you'd like to do the recipe in a video, let me know and I will send you a link so that You and I can talk about the recipe in a Google+ Hangout. We'll talk about where the recipe started, who inspired it etc.
I will then compile and share them on this Website. It will be here forever, for your Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren to see.
This is what this Media is good for! Take advantage of what you can do for your legacy! Let me Help!
Thank You All for allowing me to indulge myself on my Blogiversary! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Dot* I hope you know how much you are loved and how important you are to all of us! We love you!