The Hand That Stirs the Pot, Wields the Power

My innocent nephew Marc, lured by the siren.

My innocent nephew Marc, lured by the siren.

I was on the phone with my sister-in-law yesterday talking about Thanksgiving and what keeps families together over the years. I think witchcraft might be involved.

We were lured in like Italian Hansels and Gretels by wonderful ravioli and slow-cooked sauce on Sundays. My mom acted innocent,while enticing us to sit together with delicious meals every night, where the chuck roast or turkey was so tender it fell from the bone and melted in our mouths.

Dad, her accomplice, making sure the trap was set.

Dad, her accomplice, making sure the trap was set.

We came home from school to hot, delicious pizzas and fresh breads just waiting for us. And then there were the pies; warm apple with a crumble top, fresh cherry, blueberry with peanut butter crust – these are the pies that bind.  (Oh God, I can’t believe I went for that awful pun.)

My brothers learned the witchcraft.

My brothers learned the witchcraft.

It’s ridiculously simple.  Nothing makes you happier than eating great food when you’re really hungry. It’s almost embarrassing that we humans are so easily manipulated. And sitting at the table, we ended up talking and laughing. More food came so we sat and talked longer and pretty soon, BAM!, we were a unit and we actually liked each other.

Mom's adoring minions.

Mom’s adoring minions.

And even after each of us moved away, we always came back, as if some invisible glue held us together. (It may have started with guilt – “When are yunza commin a home?”) But we discovered we all love cooking, eating, planning great dinners, and each other. She used her culinary witchcraft on us, we fell under its spell, and now we use it on our families!

Tempting the next generation.

Tempting the next generation.

We don’t get to be together every day or even every Sunday anymore, but the bond is still there. And that bond was forged with the three P’s:  pasta, pizza and pie.

So, this Thanksgiving, wear that apron proudly and revel in your influence. If your family willingly, happily gets together, food probably played a part. Whoever thinks the hand that stirs the pot doesn’t wield power, couldn’t be more wrong.

7 thoughts on “The Hand That Stirs the Pot, Wields the Power

  1. When my mom passed, I gave away all of my mom’s furniture but took her cast iron skillets, Farberware soup pot, cookbooks and recipe book with handwritten recipes and clipped newspaper recipes. I cried the first time I cooked with the cast iron pannthinking of all the meals that had been lovingly and deliciously made in that skillet. You have your own witchcraft, Fran: your evocative memories stir at the embers of your loyal reader’s memories. Thank you for that.

  2. This one hit really close to home, Fran. You have a magical way of reaching deep into our souls and pulling out the best of the memories. Bless you!

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