Happy Valentines Day

Good morning, loves!  And a very Happy Valentines Day to you all!  Today is an entire day set aside to let those you love know that you love them.  Send flowers.  Buy candy.  Give jewelry. 

For me, showing that love is about food, through food!  You know, I’ve mentioned that the first ingredient in everything you cook should be love.  That’s just how I roll.  Honestly, the best and truest satisfaction I get out of this life is making good food and serving it up to the people I love. 

I got that love from people who loved me.  My Moma and my Granny loved to cook and loved to feed people too.  Their love was passed down to me.  They showed people their love by cooking fabulous food.  Even “plain” food was fabulous because it was prepared with an amazing love.  Love for the food and an intense love for the people they were feeding it to. 

Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be filled with love.  Food doesn’t have to be expensive to be filled with love.

Since today is about love, I want to tell you a little about the people I love and about some of the things they love.

 There’s the tall skinny man.  We met my first day of Kindergarten and his first day of first grade.  Who knew back then that we’d end up with a houseful of little skinny, blonde ankle biters?  You see, the tall skinny man loves me.  Fat, fatter, a little thinner, blonde, red-headed, whatever I throw at him.  He loves me.  When I have to travel out of town, he’ll sometimes sneak sticky notes from him and the ankle biters into my luggage so I can hang them on the mirror in my hotel room.  Yesterday morning when it was evil, wicked, mean and nasty cold and snowy here, he knew I had to travel out of town so he left a sticky note on my computer that said, “B Careful”, then a big goofy heart.  He’s such a big ole goober!  One that I love! 

You know what I love?  I love to be in the kitchen cooking away and hear him coming up the stairs from work taking big deep breaths to sniff in whatever I’m cooking.  It doesn’t matter what I’m cooking.  It could be something stinky like salmon patties or kraut and weenies.  But he never fails to sniff the air and make a big production about whatever it is I’m fixing.  I love that!  It makes me feel special!  Even if the big bonehead never will tell me what he wants for supper!  Especially his own birthday meal.  But I ain’t bitter…….Just sayin’………….So tall skinny man, Happy Valentines Day.  I love you with all my kitchen!

Turns out the tall skinny man produced a couple little “mini me’s”……..those of you who have seen them, it looks like I had absolutely NOTHING to do with their gestating and birthing.  It’s like tall skinny man did it all himself.  But he didn’t.  He does have some awfully strong genes in his pool though.  Cuz his ankle biters look just like him, act just like him, and love to eat as much as he does!

The oldest ankle biter came to this world the teeniest little thing you’ve ever seen.  All 1 pound 11 ounces of him!  The minute that child took his first bite of food, it was ON!  He eats like a 350 pound linebacker, I tell you!  This is a child with a very highly refined palate.  It cracks me up.  How many times have you ever heard a 9 year old ask his mom, “When are we going to have asparagus again?”  He asked that at a restaurant in front of a the waiter a few years ago.  The waiter cracked up.  The ankle biter was serious!  This is a child who would’ve made his Mamaw Cat proud.  He eats pretty much anything and everything.  And he savors it.  He adores it.  He can’t get enough of it.  The boy loves to eat.  And his ole Mom LOVES to feed him!  In fact, I LOVE me some AB1.  Happy Valentines Day, AB1! 

AB2 is my “picky” child.  Compared to the vast majority of kids, you couldn’t call him picky at all.  He’s just picky compared to his older brother.  You know what makes AB2 happier than a pig in mud?  Soup!  Most any kind!  It cracks me up.  Now here’s the kicker……this child wouldn’t touch a casserole with a 10 foot pole.  He thinks Chicken Pot Pie is evil and of the devil.  He’d rather gnaw off his own arm than eat Chicken Pot Pie.  But now if you take all those very same ingredients and put them in a soup pot and serve it to him in a bowl, he’ll lap it up like there’s no tomorrow coming.  The boy loves him some soup.  No two ways about it.  And I love me some AB 2!  Even if he is a picky little booger!  ;o)

Since we’re talking about food and love, I can’t talk about those things without mentioning the rest of my family.  You see, my Moma is gone.  My Granny is gone.  My Daddy is gone.  He was a good cook too!  He made THE BEST slaw in the whole world!!!!  So as far as family, I’ve only got my little family with tall skinny man and my brother and his family.

My brother is a big ole lug.  He’s 10 years older than me.  Something I NEVER let him forget.  And when I was little he was meaner than a junkyard dawg to me.  Hung me from trees with my own jumprope, told people I was the little girl his mom babysits.  Stuff like that.  Though he’d deny it with his dying breath! 

My brother and his little family live next door.  That’s a blessing.  In so many ways.  One of the best ways is that we’re literally a stone’s throw from each other.  We usually eat at least 5 meals a week together.  And most weeks, it’s more than that.  I cook or my SIL cooks and we all just eat together.  Families ought to eat together more!  There’d be less fighting and bickering and back-biting and stuff like that!  It’s hard to be hatin’ when you’re breaking bread together.  KWIM?

So the ankle biters call my brother Unk because my brother and I called our Daddy’s only brother Unk.  Unk has a favorite thing I make.  It’s called Honeybun Cake.  Let me tell you something.  I’ve made MANY a cake in my day.  Fancy, fru-fru cakes!  Honeybun Cake is the least fancy, least fru-fru, least pretentious cake on the planet.  But Unk thinks there’s nothing else in the whole world like it!  He loves Honeybun Cake.  And I love him, the big lug.  But don’t tell him or anything!  Oh and he makes sure his little ankle biting nephews have all kinds of stuff their mean ole mom doesn’t keep around the house like, um, Kit Kat bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Nutty Bars and Dr. Pepper……..they love him too!  Happy Valentines Day, Unk! 

Along with Unk comes Aunt Dee.  Aunt Dee joined our family when I was about the age of AB1.  She loves my brother.  And I love her cuz she loves my brother.  Aunt Dee loves her some dessert.  Any dessert.  Doesn’t matter.  Just something with sugar in it.  I can’t tell you how many tops off leveled cakes she’s relieved me of!  LOL  She’s just good to me that way!  She’s awfully special.  Happy Valentines Day, Aunt Dee! 

And then there’s my “little” nephew.  He’s not little anymore though.  Sometime about a year ago, he got taller than me.  I’m not liking that much.  He apparently didn’t get the memo that he’s not supposed to grow up and get taller than me.  I call him my “Nephrina.”  He rolls his eyes at me.  Or socks me in the shoulder.  He’s the pickiest eater of the bunch.  But I can sure make him happy and loved with some Tater Tot Casserole.  The funny thing is, it was his mom’s recipe way back a hundred years ago or so.  But he comes to my house to eat MY Tater Tot Casserole.  I like that.  It makes me feel special.  He’s 19 now and we’re no longer cool to hang with like we were a few years ago.  So the once in a while when he lets me feed him some Tater Tot Casserole is special, cuz he’s special.  I sure love that kid.  Happy Valentines Day, Nephrina!  It’s a good thing he doesn’t read here cuz I would SOOOOOOOO be getting socked in the shoulder for telling the whole world he’s my little Nephrina!

OK, so you know about the people that I love now.  In honor of Valentines Day, I’m cooking……………NOTHING!  I plan to make the tall skinny man take me out for dinner tonight!  LOL  Cuz while I LOVE cooking and I put a lot of love into it.  I’ve got NO love for washing dishes.  And unfortunately, nobody has come up with a way for me to cook without making dishes dirty.  So somebody else gets to clean up the kitchen tonight!

Happy Valentines Day, everybody!  If you’re not a lazy slug like me and don’t mind cleaning up the kitchen, go make some food of love for your family tonight!  Just report back what it was cuz my family might love it too!  Have a great day!

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6 Responses

  1. I love how you and your brother, and his family, get together and eat all the time! That is so special! What wonderful memories for those little ankle biters of yours too! They are very lucky! Happy Valentines Day!

  2. Oh, how I loved reading this post about your LOVES!

  3. Such a sweet tribute to Valentine’s Day, Amy!

  4. You’ve made me cry……….Love you, “man”!

  5. DON’T FEEL TOO BAD DONNA, I LIVE IN IT! AND MOST OF YOU KNOW, I’M A BIG SAP! I HAD TEARS RUNNING DOWN MY FACE FROM CRYING AND LAUGHING AT THE SAME TIME. I HOPE IN MY AGING & SENILITY AFTER SUNDAY, I NEVER FORGET WHICH SIDE MY BREAD IS BUTTERED OR CHEESED OR BACONED OR . . . . . . !!!! YOU GET THE PICTURE. TO USE AND AMY-ISM, I LOVE ME SOME AMY!!!!! TIL MY DYING DAY & WITH ALL MY HEART, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, MY LOVE!

  6. Oh, Skinny man you big sap, you! I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes reading your comments!

    BTW, I also love me some Amy! 🙂

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