It is hard to believe that February is upon us, the month dedicated to LOVE. Growing up, I always loved Valentine’s Day. The little cartoon laden Valentine Cards that I would put in the cubbies of my classmates, the heart shaped candies with sayings on them, the chocolates, and the flowers; it all made me so happy. I remember the whispers between friends of who liked who and who gave whom what? And yes, there were plenty of years where NOTHING was in my cubby, mailbox, or on my pillow from that special someone. However, there were, and are, always cards from my Dad, and texts or calls from my squad of ladies.
Love is love. No matter if it is in the romantic, familial, or platonic setting. It exists for all of us to give, and for all of us to receive. As Hugh Grant put it in Love Actually, “Love actually is all around.”
Cooking in 2020
2020 became a fascinating backdrop for various forms of love. People were forced to redefine how they could share many things, love included. For Casa Mia, we adopted the motto that FOOD IS LOVE. Throughout the pandemic, people flocked to their kitchens to engage in a ritual as old as time: cooking. Whether it was sourdough bread, fancy breakfasts, or baked goods, people began cooking, for comfort, and as a source of love.
Casa Mia has always viewed food and wine as so much more than just sustenance. As our cooking classes and wine and cheese tastings have developed, and continue to grow, we have been welcomed into many kitchens across the country, and the world. We have learned that food is truly a language of love. It unites us, bonds us, and provides us with endless opportunities to learn, share, and grow. Please subscribe to our newsletter where you will automatically receive a free recipe ebook entitled “Recipes from the Heart.” #foodislove
Food is love: Gina and Eleonora
I have had the opportunity to participate in classes that Gina and Eleonora have taught both as individuals and in tandem. I could listen to Gina speak about the memories she has cooking with the women in her family, grandmothers, aunts, and her mother, for hours. The genuine sentiment with which she describes these memories testifies to the notion that food is love.
If you haven’t participated in a cooking class or wine and cheese tasting with Eleonora, you are truly missing out. To watch, and hear, Eleonora speak about cheese is to witness pure adoration. She loves cheese. This may be an understatement. But more so than her love for cheese, is her love to teach and connect with others over cheese. Cheese is love. Eleonora is a beacon of cheesy love!
Food is Love: Carolyn
As I write this, I am overloaded with memories of moments where food has provided an opportunity for love. If you would indulge me, I would like to share a few of them with you.
Pumpkin Bread – This bread has been in my life since I can remember. The smell of it instantaneously brings me back to the kitchen with my mother where we made endless loaves of bread to share, with seemingly, everyone we knew. I have carried this tradition on as it is so much more than bread to me. It is a piece of my mother’s heart that will live on forever.
Birthday Dinners – As a child, my mother would allow us to pick out what we wanted to eat for our birthday meal. This was not unique to my family, as I have come to find out. However, that sweet and sour chicken my mother made, complete with canned pineapple and jarred syrupy cherries, just oozed love. Now it makes me nauseous, but still, it signified love.
Friday morning breakfasts in high school – This is a hindsight 20/20 memory for me, as in the moment, when my father made my brother and I get up at 5:00 am on Friday mornings for family breakfast, it was NOT my idea of love. However, our schedules were so hectic and it was the only time we could sit and break bread, together, as a family. Dad knew.
Post College Friday Night Dinners – I vividly remember Friday nights in the summer when my brothers and I would travel home to spend the weekends with our parents who all of sudden were enjoying multi-course home cooked meals on the regular. This was not simply hamburgers and hot dogs nor a thrifty casserole. These meals were researched and planned out: first, second, and third courses; wines included! Watching them cook together inspired me on so many levels. Their love was palpable and what they created on those Friday nights… #lifegoals.
My mother’s post funeral gathering – I’m not trying to be a “Debbie-downer,” I swear. However, this moment perfectly illustrates to me the power of food. We held the post funeral gathering at our house – and it was pot-luck. Sounds a little kitsch when I write it, but our TRIBE truly rallied and created a beautiful tribute, to an amazing woman, with their food. It was a very hard time made easier through their pot-luck love.
Give love. Get love.
The three of us ladies have been cooking a lot. I mean A LOT. That’s a lot of food and a lot of love. I tried to keep up with it, but couldn’t. I love pasta – I truly, truly do, however my body can’t consume that much pasta and I refuse to throw it out. So I decided to get to know my neighbors. I have only lived in my current situation for a year and with the pandemic, conversations were deterred in the name of safety. Yet over the past few months, I began bringing my dishes to my neighbors after cooking. What an absolute joy it has been to spread these creations, these pieces of me, my love. What I didn’t realize at the time was all I would gain in return. #foodislove
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ―Pablo Picasso