Food is love.
It’s undeniable — there really is nothing comparable to the nostalgic, heart-warming smell of your grandmother’s home cooked meal.
I hadn’t realized the role my “yiayia’s” food played until my grandparents trekked across the Atlantic to stay with my family for a few months. I hadn’t seen them since the last time I was home, which was more than three years ago.
I’m not quite sure where it hit me the most. Maybe it’s that even though she had arrived the night before, my grandmother was relentlessly chopping away, driven to finish the feast she had planned. Perhaps it was the fact that I was now old enough to take part in the ritual of cleaning, peeling, and preparing that I had longed to learn as a child. I don’t know… it could have just been that I really missed home. Whatever the reasons were, the night was unforgettable.
In my family, it is a bit of a tradition to hand down recipes from the older generation to the next. After countless executions and eventual perfection, these prized possessions are the very epitome of what it means to be a homemaker. It was my grandmother who acted as my guide through the perilous misadventures of over-cooking spinach and burning béchamel sauce. When I was thirteen this was unknown territory, but my “yiayia” was there to help me salvage the hours of work I feared I wasted.
This act of passing down recipes is true for most cultures though — it doesn’t matter how different the languages or cuisines are. It’s the notion
that no matter how many years go by, some things transcend the inevitable passing of time. They are immortalized, revealed only to those who have earned the right to use them.
Yet there are moments when I fear this concept has been lost to convenience. Time is of the utmost importance to us. We constantly yearn for more of it, yet waste so much of what we are given. That’s just how life works today: it is fast paced and stops for no one. I can definitely understand the appeal of microwaving a frozen meal for four minutes. You shave off time that you would rather spend catching up on the last episode of Modern Family. But in all honesty, don’t all of us deserve to be pampered once in a while by a home-cooked dinner?
All I’m saying is that once in a while, take a cue from the generations before us: Prepare a meal for someone you care about. Your time is valuable, so why not use it on someone that deserves it?