Made with Love

My birthday dinner at Fig was meh (loud, dark, felt like I was eating in a bar, although the food was solid). This is my experience at the vast majority of restaurants, regardless of how much I pay or how well reviewed it is. Even if the food is obviously of good quality, I leave feeling unsettled, often with a stomach ache, and I think I figured out why.

Fig was so dark we had to pick the table candle up to read the menu.

Restaurant kitchens are frenetic, chaotic places. There is time pressure and financial pressure and lord knows what other vibes are going on in there. And of course there is the practical matter of stretching the product out as long as possible to insure maximum profits. I’m not hating here, I get it, but it makes sense why most of the time I leave feeling vaguely anxious, perhaps full, but rarely satisfied. I mostly think to myself at the end of the meal, this is why I prefer to eat at home.

When I’m cooking (for myself or for my clients), all of my focus is on myself, or on them. What will nourish? What will taste amazing? Appreciating how fresh the product is. Knowing where it came from. Most importantly, cooking with LOVE, which sounds hokey, but I don’t get stomach aches from my cooking!

This thought came up again when I received this picture from my aunt.

Rapunzel, with braid. Made by two hands, and one giant heart.

She’s making incredible, hand crafted costumes for little ones all over the country. Talk about made with love! And while they may be more expensive than buying a costume from Target that was made in China, I for one feel it’s worth it to pay a bit more and support a small, local business (or family!).

In the same way I love to know where my food comes from, knowing where my money is going makes shopping, and consuming, a much more fulfilling experience for me personally. I would rather buy less and have my purchases be mindful, and helpful, which can be a challenge with the disposable society I’ve grown up in.

Whew! Soapbox moment.

Ian’s Pascal costume, worn at 9 months and now 19 months.


Mandy’s Meals. Always made with love.


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