The Secret Ingredient
For years I tried to duplicate my Nanaís recipe but was never able to get it exactly right. I would always measure out just the right amounts of garlic, parsley, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, and olive oil to add to the tomato sauce. I would simmer it slowly and stir it with care, but it never came out as good as hers. Finally one day it dawned on me that I was missing the secret ingredient that made hers so special: LOVE. You see, Nana always served her spaghetti with a big smile, a gentle hug, and the loving words: "Mangia! Mangia!" Which means "Eat! Eat!" I could always taste her love for us in every bite.
Love is the secret ingredient in life too. The more you love the more your life will taste like joy. The more love you give to others the more your days will become a feast of happiness that never ends. The more love you share the more you become like the greatest chef of all: God.
I think that I will try my hand at making Nanaís sauce again this week. It may never taste as good as hers, but cooking it will bring back the memories of her love and laughter. And while I am slowly stirring it I may even feel her and God smiling down on me from Heaven.