Food, glorious food

Like most families, our gatherings always include food. Whether we are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, a graduation or special holiday, food is always front and center and is what brings us together.

Since we have three young children, we often host many of these get-togethers at our home. Once in a while we’ll dine out. We let the kids pick which restaurant we go to when it’s their birthday. Sometimes their choices surprise me. It’s rarely a favorite because of a certain meal, rather the environment and fond memories that were once shared.

I am the “cook” in our house which means I prepare most of the meals during the week, too. I enjoy including my kids in the process – cutting and chopping vegetables, mixing the ingredients and assembling the dishes – it’s something they ask to help with every night. It takes time and patience, but they are learning about the variety of food they consume and how to prepare their own meals.

This issue is centered on everything you love about food! You’ll meet d’Vine Gourmet owner Denise McCreery and learn about the delicious homemade treats and local goodies (think chocolate caramels and wine-infused jellies) and unique gift baskets that are available at this local specialty store.

At Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank, emergency food boxes are assembled for the homeless and hungry. The organization has been providing hope and relief to Arizona residents since 2001.

Our family feature is one that truly brings the issue together. This mother-and-daughter duo cook authentic Southern Italian food, operate a popular catering business and prepare weekly meal service for the Chandler community. We had the opportunity to meet Joanne Spataro and Rose Spataro-Petersen when we shot our cover photo and had a great time spending the afternoon laughing and eating delicious Italian food.

While food often sets the tone, it’s the meaningful conversations, bonding time and special memories that you’ll cherish long after you put your fork down.