By Joseph J. Mazzella • January 22, 2023
When I was a boy growing up we didn’t have much. Most of the clothes I wore were hand me downs from my two brothers. The books I read were old, worn, and dog-eared with stained, yellow pages. My toys were few and came only at Christmas or my birthday. We didn’t even buy that much at the grocery store because we raised so much of our food at home. We raised pigs for meat and had four HUGE vegetable gardens.
The largest of these gardens was dedicated entirely to potatoes. I remember my Mom, brothers, and I hand planting them after my Dad had tiled the soil. Each year the crop was enormous. We had potatoes with almost every meal. There were fried potatoes for breakfast, oven cooked potatoes with chicken for dinner, potatoes slow cooked in my Nana’s special, spaghetti sauce, and mashed potatoes with just about everything.
Nothing in our house ever went to waste either. Whenever Mom had made too much mashed potatoes for dinner one day, the next day we had potato pancakes. Mom would take the left over mashed potatoes out of the fridge, add egg, flour, salt, pepper, and just a bit of garlic and we would all sit down to a table full of delicious little pancakes. I can still taste them even now though I have never been able to duplicate her recipe. Mine always taste a little bland compared to hers. Maybe she added a secret ingredient that I don’t remember or maybe it was just the love with which she cooked them. It flavored all her meals. Each time I ate one I felt warm not just in my belly but in my heart as well. What I wouldn’t give to sit down to just one more meal with Mom, give her a hug, and tell her how much I love her and miss her now that she’s in Heaven.
Like Mom may you always flavor your meals with love. May you always flavor your lives with love. May you become a gourmet for God filling hearts wherever you go.
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