When I was a kid, one of my favorite dishes was spaghetti and meatballs. While spaghetti with red sauce was rather common, the special and very rare nights that my mom would make meatballs instead were a thrill. The rareness was due to both the extra work involved in creating the meatballs and the meat itself, which was more expensive and we didn’t have a lot of extra cash to spare. I remember when they were large, I’d get only three, which created a sort of face on the plate with two eyes and nose surrounded by blonde spaghetti hair. At least that’s what I imagined. For some reason it was always fun to find something smiling back at me on my plate as a kid. Whether it was a happy pancake with blueberry eyes and a strawberry smile or a hot dog made to look like a little man with a mustard grin. Even today, I’ll still get a little thrill when I see a happy plate, though these days it’s accidental and only my imagination at work with no clever mom trying to make me laugh. When I think back to those days, I’m reminded that life is far more fun when you don’t take it too seriously. And though I don’t still partake in many of the dishes I had as a child, I can still look for a bit of happy on my plate like I did those many years ago.
I’m excited to be heading into an Easter weekend because Philippe has been inspired and told me he is planning on making some lovely treats. The first is carrot cake, which was an Easter family tradition when I was growing up and I loved it. So, I’m excited to see his version, which I think is going to manifest itself as cupcakes. The second is a large chocolate chicken using a mold we received from Philippe’s father. His father was quite the chef and so all of the wonderful chocolate objects at Easter were created at home. This was not at all something that ever happened in my own childhood, so the entire experience seems rather magical to me. Though my father-in-law is no longer with us, he’s left a legacy of wonderful things behind including fabulous culinary traditions and even my new blue glasses that I now wear with pride. Family is the most important thing in the world! And, when you marry and blend families, you get even more people to love and honor in the process. That’s a pretty amazing thing. And, yeah, when you marry a Parisian with a chef for a dad, you get some truly amazing food to enjoy and I feel both lucky and thoroughly spoiled all at once!
And I hope that all of you out there enjoy a lovely weekend with your family as well. I think any weekend is a cause for celebration, so enjoy every lovely moment! My family on both sides, lives miles away so my own weekend will be the usual trio of the aforementioned Parisian husband, myself, and our surly yet lovable basenji dog, Phineas. The latter is quite sure that when we tell him chocolate is poisonous to dogs, we’re just making it all up to keep all the treats for ourselves. At this very moment, we’re listening to a bit of French music and though I can still only understand every other word, it’s quite lovely. And Philippe is taking the night off from cooking, so we ordered pizza, which is definitely something I remember from childhood. However, the Philippe-approved pizza now comes from a restaurant with an award-winning chef and is delivered by Uber Eats, so things have definitely changed a bit. The one thing that hasn’t changed, nor ever really changes, is my love of family and food. There’s nothing better than when you find that perfect combination of happy, like spaghetti and meatballs.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. Sharpie Pen in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!