I walked into this Christmas season with a strong instinct that it would be special. This season was just that and more. As with past holidays, there was a lot of bustle going into this month. Many grocery lists were made followed by multiple trips to the market as well as gift runs and late night wrapping sessions. Being able to travel this year to family and friends was a blessing and making up for a year lost meant the world to me. Spending quality time with my nephew is always special. However, at the Christmas dinner table I learned the beautiful lesson. The love in your heart carries over into the food you cook.
In the midst of visiting and spending quality time with loved ones, I also cooked on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I love to bake and cook and am always happy to tie on an apron and roll up my sleeves. As per tradition, Christmas Eve is the Italian fish feast and I served as more of helper to my brother in law as he is much stronger at cooking fish than me. However, on Christmas Day I took the lead on the dishes assigned to me and to my great pleasure I got to make the raviolis. Raviolis are a favorite holiday dish in our family’s house and many guests enter my parent’s home with watering mouths for the famous cheese ravioli.
I happily rolled up my sleeves, tied on my Mom’s beloved red apron, and seamless glided through the steps of making the pasta and cheese filing while setting up the anti-pasta dishes.
When I reached the point where the pasta pockets were ready to be forked pressed, a family member entered the kitchen offering her help. My sister’s father in law, who was also the birthday boy, joined the pressing party as well! This beautiful flow developed from me rolling pasta, spooning cheese filing to passing them on to be pressed. This teamwork continued through cooking the raviolis and preparing the dishes for the table. When I sat down to eat my meal, I heard the consistent sound of forks and knives scraping plates.
At that moment my sister turned to me and said something I will never forget. “The raviolis came out really good.” It is a simple phrase but in that moment I felt a great sense of love and acknowledgment. A gift that is priceless.
I believe my Mom was smiling at that moment too. Proud that the tradition is being carried on by her children through a sense of harmony and love.
Later in the week, I told my friend this story. I shared further of how the following day I watched with joy as my family ate the leftovers and packed some for lunch. She told me how her Grandmother always said how you feel shows up in the food you cook.
My friend explained to me “your love was in the food you cooked and that is what people were savoring.”
I was deeply touched by this realization and piece of wisdom. The heart and mind are very powerful and positive energies have the strength to make ripples and touch others. Although I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, I am continuing to make a choice to create with a smile on my face and love in my heart. For with every piece of pasta I roll, cookie I bake, piece of art I draw, and toy I crochet a piece of my love is being sent out into the world and shared with someone special.
Kristina Lucia xoxo