Stuck between jelly-stained pages of recipe cards and cookbooks, I found a treasure.

A treasure assumed lost forever.

A treasure deemed worthless to the typical bystander. In fact, with its faded, photocopied pages, it resembles trash, but as my fingers pried it loose from its confined corner, memories surfaced. Senses were stimulated, and carefree days of life as a 17-year-old catapulted back to the present.

I remember feeling empowered. A young mom took five high-schoolers under her wing and decided to teach us to cook. Every week, throughout the summer months, we gathered together and she introduced us to new foods, new cooking techniques and new kitchen tips.

While she shared with us tangible and practical life skills that still impact me today, she also poured her life into us. As we chopped the veggies, she shared on the “dicey-ness of marriage” and the importance of putting time into making a marriage a true partnership.

As we stirred, the wisdom and love of parenting came through her heart. As the desserts baked, we gathered to talk about typical stresses we dealt with as senior-high students and how to combat peer pressure. As the meal finished, and we piled our finished results on serving trays, we invited the high school guys’ small group to join us to partake in the meal.

It doesn’t get much better than that. If the old adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” rings true, we gave it our best shot at that stomach.

So as I pulled out this treasure, these hand-written recipes, I was reminded that cooking isn’t just about feeding stomachs.

At its finest, it’s about feeding the soul. It’s about sharing life around a table – meant for food, yet at its pinnacle, meant for so much more.

I look forward to finding some wonderful Tasty Tuesday recipe inspiration.

As we all cook and prepare our recipes this week, let’s all remember that it’s about so much more than the food.

Whether you are a reader or blogger, MSN’s Kitchen Cookoff  would love to give you some great ideas.  Head on over there for quick tips and cooking ideas or submit some of your favorite recipes there as well. If you are a blogger, it’s as easy as copy and pasting the recipe you are sharing for Tasty Tuesday. They would love to have your ideas, and you can spread the word in two spots at once.

Remember, link up to your blog post, link back to me and then go shared the comment love with some other bloggers. Please refrain from linking up multiple posts.