Love and Food

Like many, I grew up in a food-focused family. My husband was quick to notice and a bit confused that so many of our conversations centered around food.



There is a pretty simple explanation.

It was never subtle. It was discussed.

The “I love you” phrase was seldom uttered.

We were told, and often, that my parents expressed their love by caring for us, guiding us, putting a roof over our head and food on the table.

It was often spoken at dinner time.

We got the message early.

Food is more than sustenance, it is an expression of love. And we all followed suit.

We valued our culinary skills, spent much time in their development. We shared our favorites, exchanged recipes, spoke of cook books and new gourmet discoveries at the market.



And much like our parents, we went to the purest sources available.

Independent butchers and dairy farmers, in-season produce direct from the fields and roadside stands, farmer’s markets, bakeries, small business owners.

Always local, always fresh. Mostly home-made.

The kitchen table figured front and center, the hub of our social life.

We grew to have families, careers. Our lives got busy.

Expressions of love took other forms. The words would come, it was much easier for each generation.

But we never forgot those early attitudes about food. And I am more at home in the kitchen than just about anyplace else.

It mattered then. Still does.


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82 Responses to Love and Food

  1. Deb says:

    I love going to the local farm stands and butcher shops to buy the freshest and right out of the ground foods!! Sounds like your family, both then and now, are very rich indeed with love, caring and nurturing. What a wonderful share, thank you!!

  2. I remember the meals my Mum used to cook for us. Tasty and wholesome, made from scratch. I never doubted I was loved for a minute, though these days I make sure to actually tell her when we visit. We took so much for granted as kids, which makes them all the more precious to us.

  3. Food matters alot in our house hold, especially when so much energy goes into growing it.. 🙂 Lovely Post Van..

  4. Erika Kind says:

    That really gives a feeling of home… also the kitchen as the central place in the house feels that way.

  5. Joyful2bee says:

    Beautiful memory of what love is.

  6. Love the sentiment. I think I’d rather see the family around the kitchen table than a parent in front of a TV while the children are in front of their computers.

  7. George says:

    I grew up in a mostly Italian family. My dad was German and English but we lived near my mom’s family, all in the same neighborhood where everyone had their own garden. My father was a butcher and my parents owned a small grocery store and we lived in an apartment behind the store so good and love were pretty dominant for us also.
    Isn’t it great that it still maters today..:)

  8. Love the quote……. so true
    Have a good day !

  9. Many say “The Kitchen is the heart of the home.” How very true. This post makes that saying so right, Van. I do often wonder why people gather in the Kitchen at parties, though. Maybe I now have the answer.

  10. LaVagabonde says:

    A family gathered around the kitchen table is a heart-warming sight.

  11. Wonderful, Van. I envy those families who gather in kitchens and enjoy the art and camaraderie of food. My family of origin was more utilitarian when it came meal time. Now, I love hanging out in my friend’s delicious kitchens 🙂

  12. kjelldesot says:

    Amazing! I’am a New blogger, hope the blogging world takes me far! Go
    Check me out i do recipes and travel

  13. My mouth is watering. How I’d love to eat what you make in the kitchen. I’d even help.

  14. amommasview says:

    Definitely. Words matter but your actions do to. Cooking a meal and putting a lot of love into it by making it good or using the best possible ingredients is love too.

  15. TanGental says:

    My mum had a sign on her kitchen ‘no matter where I put my guests they always like my kitchen best’. Summed up her attitude my like your family.

  16. Love is spoken in so many different ways. This one speaks volumes, and loudly.

  17. We found a great new farmers’ market on Saturday

  18. Lady G says:

    You really are my kind person Van!
    I can totally relate to your last point about feeling mostly at home in the kitchen.
    I know that some people poo-poo the idea of showing love with food but isn’t that one of the very first ways that we as mothers showed love and tenderness to our children when they were infants?
    Why on Earth would we ever want to stop doing that?
    Thanks for another wonderful post.

  19. candidkay says:

    Short but so well put!

  20. Hi Van
    I was thinking similar thoughts, I had to be home for supper at 5:00 sharp unless at approved function. Our table was full of conversation, I still look back and don’t know how my Granny did everything. I didn’t change my own sheets. I sure miss her.
    Did you get my email about what your week looked like for travel or family?

  21. Nurse Kelly says:

    The kitchen really is the heart of the home. Your words just nourished my soul. xo

  22. ChefEurasia says:

    This is awesome! Come check out my blog.

  23. MyMarketingFile says:

    Reblogged this on Grocery LTD.

  24. Food is indeed love. Cheers!!!

  25. nicolemichellehill says:

    I have a very large italian family, so we tend to be very centered around food as well 🙂

  26. Archana says:

    So true! Kitchen is our favorite place to hang out.

  27. says:

    I love this. I grew up similarly, in a food focused family. Food is love, and love is food.

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  29. missfeed says:

    Hi! I like when you say “Food is more than sustenance, it is an expression of love” 🙂 it’s true … we think that eat good food means take care of your body and your mind! If u want we could follow each other… It will be a pleasure! We are two italian food blogger and nutritionist! 🙂 Ciao!

  30. The kitchen table front and centre. Most of my childhood meals were eaten there. In my elementary school years my seat was on a bright yellow wooden bench which contained inside it rice, flour, oats, all bought in quantities to feed a family of 8 cheaply.

    • As overflow seating, we had an oak bar with wooden stools, the back of which was also used for storage. The oldest of the 6 children usually sat there. I was one of them. Thanks for sharing, Donald. Glad you relate. 💗

  31. This is very great!! I myself have had some of the greatest memories over the dinner table. Nothing says “I love you” like a family member getting home late but still taking the time to make homemade food with love 🙂

  32. seawifeblog says:

    Love this – food is a member of our family. Best times around the dinner table or in fact preparing the food – even with the little monsters. Recent move to france has heightened my love of fresh food and this week i am starting our own veg and herb garden, with the children to help. my new blog covers my crazy life in france and my crazy love of food and wine!

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