Peggy Grose - Author of 'Love and Lemon Pie'
Peggy Grose has captured families at their best, sharing meals and recipes mixed with healthy encouragement. In her desire to see all children find that place at the table, she has generously donated 10% of this book's proceeds to help CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County train volunteers to extend a hand, heart and voice to abused and neglected children.
Karen Cox
Executive Director of CASA of Travis County
A Letter from Home

Dear Reader,

Preparing, serving and eating food has great emotional meaning in most cultures, including our own. Holidays are feast days. The words "Thanksgiving" and "turkey" go together, creating a mental picture of ourselves around the table with family and friends. We feel warm and secure. When we are sick, we feel comforted by family and friends who bring chicken soup. The soup, as a symbol that someone cares, is just as important to our recovery as are the nutrients in it. A birthday calls for a cake that says this is our day--and ours alone. It would not seem special without that cake.

Preparing and serving food is one main way of showing we care. To put it in academic terms, we communicate nonverbally that we care, not realizing that nonverbal communication is easily missed or misinterpreted by the receiver. Our thoughts and feelings are best communicated when the verbal accompanies the nonverbal and when they are congruent--when the words match the action. The words help the receiver interpret the action accurately. We often spend enormous amounts of money and effort in preparing food because we love and care for someone, only to have the message completely bypass them because we failed to serve it up with loving words.

I learned to cook standing beside my mother, who gave completely of herself in her very successful efforts to please those who came to her table. Her reputation rested upon her scrumptious creations. We lived on the farm and, so, had plenty of fruits and vegetables, fresh from the garden, nuts from the orchard, beef, pork, chicken and eggs from the barnyard and, sometimes, wild game brought in by my father. My father and brothers worked hard and ate heartily. Occasionally we fed hired hands. Friends and relatives from the city came in hordes, especially in summer when there were plenty of fresh vegetables, peanuts, watermelons and cantaloupes. Being the only girl in the family, my place was usually beside my mother, helping her prepare meals and helping to freeze and can food for the coming winter.

Besides the procedures of cooking, I learned, from her example, that what it takes to be a good cook is a willingness to take the trouble to do it right. Like the greeting card slogan says, "When you care enough to send the very best."

It was when I became a mother myself that I learned the rest--that loving words and effective communication must accompany the effort at the stove, or the meaning can be lost. So, when my four sons were still in elementary school, I began studying interpersonal communication and parenting. I learned that, if I served the family
lunch with plenty of love and laughter, it didn't matter so much what I put on their plates. Or, even if I served up the very finest food, its importance would be lost if I failed to serve it with love.

This book is a guide for nurturing your relationships with those you love and care about, as well as a collection of recipes for nourishing their bodies. I understand how busy you are and that probably you seldom have time to sit and read an entire book on interpersonal communication. That is why I have arranged this book the way I have--so that you can read my suggestions while you stir the oatmeal or watch the lemon meringue pie.

I have been collecting recipes for 45 years. Some of the ones in this book are original with me, some are adaptations of those I have picked up while living in different parts of the world and many were given to me by others. As far as possible, I have not used recipes that were obviously from publications such as nationally distributed cookbooks or from our own local newspaper food column without considerable modifications. If I have used a previously-published recipe, this inclusion was wholly inadvertent. On another note, in order to avoid the awkwardness of the she/he, his/her usage in the text of this book, I have simply alternated the use of those male-female personal pronouns.

I believe it was God who gave me the idea for Love and Lemon Pie. It was several years ago that the whole thing came to me in one flash--the title, the front cover design, and the inside format. I hope that using this volume will be as great a blessing for you as writing it has been for me. I would be honored to hear from you with your stories, your responses to this book and your favorite recipes, if you wish. Order Love and Lemon Pie

Peggy Grose

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