The Sixth Love Language ~ Taught by a Lovely Lady
Chances are if you have ever been to my house I have probably cooked for you. It’s something I love to do and it isn’t even hard work for me. It is the way I show love and care to those who come to my house. The preparation is a delight for me and is something I find truly satisfying. I even like the way carrot and potato peelings look in the sink- especially when mixed wth the discarded remains of celery, onions, egg shells, and some coffee grounds tossed in for contrast and texture. I find it beautiful and a form of art! During the preparation I subconsciously imagine how the dish will taste, the conversations we will have, and the satisfying feeling that comes after we have shared the meal.
In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman defines the 5 Love Languages as Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. I would propose that there is a 6th love language and that is cooking! Wait, you might think this falls into the Acts of Service but I don’t think so. I think it deserves a category of its own. I don’t know why it took me so long into my life to discover that cooking and baking is my love language. But I do think I know how it all started.
What prompted this post today is the fact that I am stranded at home in a snow storm and decided to organize my recipe box. (FYI- it's a great way to procrastinate on homework- while still doing something worthwhile) Going though a recipe box is a little bit like walking down the memory lane of a kitchen. There was no rhyme or reason or order to my recipe box and this took me some time to organize (long enough to NOT read two chapters and NOT start WRITING A PAPER). I weeded out a few- the recipes I had politely asked for and never seem to get around to making. I kept every little scrap of paper that my kids had jotted down what only slightly resembled anything like an ingredients list. The personal notes from friends got tucked back in under misc. Now, there stood my recipes, all organized- those oft-used gems in that little tin box. No more frustration of looking for a recipe and inevitably starting from one side of the box, only to find the recipe I was looking for on the other side. Many of these comfortable, worn-in and now neatly organized little cards have been with me since I was betrothed to Keith back in 1978. The recipe box was a gift from Charlotte, my soon to be mother in law and it included about 20 handwritten recipes with personal notes on the back of each one. Some of the cards are almost not even legible any more and a couple have been laminated to make them more durable for frequent use (i.e. Chocolate Chips Cookies and Keith's Chocolate Birthday Delight!). This amazing woman was the main person who has inspired me with her love for cooking and her expression of love to those who entered the doors of her home. Whenever I would go to her house, there always seemed to be something sizzling or simmering or baking. Cookie and treat containers neatly lined the kitchen counters and the coffee was always fresh. Charlotte doesn’t really cook any more and sadly has forgotten many of the most basic things she used to cook, but the gift she gave me- the ability to speak a love language to those who come to my house- is a priceless gift and one that I am forever grateful to have received from her.
(Paris, Lauren, Bud and Grandma Char-Summer 2006)