mama’s language of love …

have you ever read the “5 Love Languages” book? i haven’t. but many of bookish friends tell me that it’s a great book ~ and it offers some insight into how we demonstrate and interpret love.

i have my own language of love. if you’re shortstack, that love language usually includes mama sweeping you up whenever she can get her arms around you for a cuddle or begging for a kiss. it also means that there are some loud vocal exchanges which often include, “CHILD! you better watch yourself!” or “LITTLE MAN!! this room is a DISASTER!!! YOU BETTER FIX IT OR I WILL!!” all of that is usually followed by sweet kisses and quiet whispers at bedtime of, “mama loves you to the moon and back.” or “i love you like a jumping, spinning dolphin.”

for panda, that love language usually includes many murmurs throughout the day of, “baby, i love you.” OR … they may be a few occasions where it begins with “SO … you remember that you love your wife —“. most often, there’s my hand reaching out for hers or {on a couple of occasions} there is the rare occurrence of me actually doing laundry – well, at least there is the occasional efforts that i make to ensure that my dirty laundry is not put into the basket inside out and her clean laundry is put back in the places that they belong.

but, by far, my loudest and most eloquent love language involves food {and coffee!}. seriously, people. if you want to know how well you are loved, come over for dinner. you can judge my love my the food i cook.

i was spoiled this weekend … a few of our favorite people for seattle were in for there semi-annual visit to hawaii. aunty penny and aunty loree are two remarkable women who simply ROCK! they are a few of shortstack’s favorites! it’s been a luxury to have both of them in hawaii for longer than a few days and so anytime we can rope them into coming up to the house for a meal and some talk story time, well, we get demanding! (no comments from the peanut gallery, thank you very much!) SO — i TOTALLY had a reason to throw together an easter feast!!

i am also a firm believer in feeding as many people as we possibly can at one time, so we convinced aunty tasha, aunty margo and kym to join us for the feast.

now, if you have ever entered my kitchen, you would quickly learn that i do not cook in small batches. there are several reasons for this:

  • we don’t cook small in hawaii (usually because you never know who’s going to show up or how much everyone is going to eat, so it is much better to be over-prepared than all your peeps to be underfed)
  • the APLS ‘ohana likes leftovers (you can read: mama is quite lazy during the week, so if all that needs to be done is nuke leftovers, it’s ALL GOOD!)
  • i like cooking with butter … and cheese … and red meat … and wine/beer/liquor … so, i have this idea that if i cook in larger batches, there is less physiological impact that the ingredients have on the health of those who eat my food
  • ummm … refer back to the first bullet point … that about sums it up

easter was no exception for us. i spent most of the morning drinking coffee, listening to whatever Bones episode was running on Netflix (speaking of which … dear Netflix, please get West Wing on streaming video so when i am needing to have background noise for random task completion on slow weekend mornings, i have options. thank you. from, a somewhat-addicted-quite-picky-tech-inept-customer.), browsing through the fine collection of food blogs that i have bookmarked on our handy-dandy little laptop-that-could (well, i’m hoping that it will continue to be the laptop-that-does). i finally narrowed down the menu.

ham was a given. mainly because my beautiful and simply-amazing wife picked up a spiral-cut-ham while i was semi-asleep in the front seat of the car after enjoying a pre-easter celebration with the padre ‘ohana on saturday; which may or may not have included 2 … or 3 … bottles of wine consumed by two FABULOUS women who may … or may not … have had much practice lately in tucking away a bottle of wine.

ahhhh! ham! YUMMY! seriously … it comes from the gentle swine … who gives us bacon! ribs! pork chops! pork loin! kalua pork! SERIOUSLY!! how can you go wrong?? besides, if you throw the beautiful ham in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a few drizzles of whatever wine is open and sitting on your kitchen table, surround it with a nest of onions and baby carrots and roast it low and slow … i promise you ~ there will be master success at the end of the day! and then, you glaze that sweet piece of pig with a brown sugar, raspberry jam, orange juice glaze … *hmmmm* … excuse me for a moment. ok, i’m back. gotta wipe up that little bit of drool. we’re all good now.

hmmm … now, we definitely needed something to go with that pretty piece of pig. so, i married a woman who loves her some potatoes. in our house, there is A LOT of rice. we, of course, live in hawaii … so, duh! rice. then there’s shortstack … he’s a rice monster! the boy eats rice with almost every meal. one of his favorite snacks is nori and rice. he can eat rice and nothing else. but, so can mama … so i guess i shouldn’t make any comments, huh? well, our easter feast was yearning for a potato dish. after scrolling through recipe after recipe for scalloped potatoes, it was decided … i was going to make a killer lower-fat scalloped potato. well, my version of lower-fat (no butter included … a bit of sour cream and some other tasty ingredients).

add to the feast some stuffed sweet and jalepeno peppers (stuffed with ricotta/chive cheese, pineapple sausage and asparagus), a cheese tray (we love us some cheese in the APLS house!), rice (ummm … for the rice monster of course!), a delicious and lite chicken salad that aunties margo and tash brought over, and finally (just to be a little healthy in my cooking) some balsamic roasted asparagus. OH MY! i do love to make a feast! and i love seeing my peeps eat up, get satiated and just want to chill out with a glass of wine/beer/cocktail …LOVE IT!

whipped together some easy-peasy chocolate chip cookies (thanks to Tracy at – here’s the recipe … super quick and super yummy! ummm … there’s some butter in these cookies!) and chocolate balsamic strawberries. an easy and {relatively} lite dessert to end the easter feast.

of course, throughout the day of planning and cooking i epically failed at taking pictures. i have to get back into that habit!

BUT … i do have a picture of mama sneaking kisses from shortstack to share … just because!

mama will steal kisses anytime and anywhere ... shortstack, beware!

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