Saturday Morning Message: Favorite Recipes

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

This is a picture of the main course of the dinner at the Grand Banquet at the TAPS 24th National Military Survivor and Good Grief Camp. I thought it would be a good picture to use as an opening for this week’s message. There were many responses to this week’s question, so I will keep my comments brief today.

National Dinner

I would love to gather some questions you might have for future Saturday Morning Messages. You can also submit favorite songs that are meaningful to you. I encourage you to respond to the question of the week by emailing me at In order to have your reply included in the next week’s message, it is best to send your answers to me by Tuesday of the following week.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

I know this question has been used before, but I thought it would be good to share strategies. The question this week is: How do you practice self care in your life?  When stress comes into our life, it is important to have some ideas on reduction. We look forward to your ideas.


Song for the Week

John Schneider was a guest singer this past weekend. One of the songs he sang seemed very appropriate for this week’s song. It is called I’ll Still Be Loving You.  I am warning you that it may bring tears to your eyes.


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: What is a favorite recipe that comes to mind when you think of your hero?

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them. 

From Samantha, fiance of Preston: Preston LOVED to bake. Anything from homemade pies to French macarons, he made perfectly. I’ve never met someone so talented. He had all of the cool kitchen gadgets and two Kitchen Aid mixers. It was amazing to see him in the kitchen. My favorite thing he made was chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never had a more perfect one. He baked them for all of the family events we had. If I was having a bad day, he’d always let me have some of the cookie dough off the spoon. He normally baked at night and I would always go to bed early. He’d wake me up to let me try whatever he had made. It made him so happy knowing I liked it and it made me happy seeing him smile. 

From Samira, mother of Andres: My son, Andres, was a picky eater before going into the Air Force. Of course, after going to Germany and Japan, he ate food like he never had before. My son loved rice and chicken (arroz con pollo) Spanish style! 

From Lolieta, mother of Evan: I love that this question that came May 19, Evan's 34th birthday. Our family recipe is a chili relleno casserole with green chilies, eggs, and cheeses. All of us love this recipe. Evan would make it for friends wherever he traveled around the country. He would experiment with it, adding chicken or other ingredients. He would say, "Mom, it just wasn't as good." The aroma as it's baking fills our home with lovely memories. My older son's family is vegetarian so the dish has become one of their favorites also. We have it on the date we lost Evan, his birthday, and my late husband's "days" also. We have it other days too. It's our family's dish! 

Elsie, mother of Daniel: Daniel loved to cook and he had many specialties. But the first one that comes to my mind is his polenta vegetarian lasagna. He made the seasoned polenta the night before, then used it instead of noodles. He also added green olives to the lasagna. I must add, his red velvet cake and his rème brûlée were always a special treat. 

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: I had a little tan notebook...size of an assignment notebook...I started to keep recipes when it was clear we were going to get married. My mother couldn’t cook. However, my mother-in-law and her mother were incredible. One recipe was for an apple pie that was insanely delicious. When my son graduated college and moved to Annapolis, I gave him the book, amongst other things. The first thing he made was the apple pie. He called me from the store to make sure he got the right apples and a few of the other ingredients. I got photos. He was proud of himself! The pie he made was delicious. My surviving son has the book. 

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andy: A favorite recipe of my son Andy was probably spaghetti and meatballs, and Andy always included a big salad because his father HAD to have salad every night. Of course we tackled the garlic bread, or should I say Andy did ( he was better than me at the broiler). The twins at 9 years old or so each had to prepare one dinner a week, and this was Andy’s choice. I took them to the grocery store to buy the ingredients they needed. After about three or four weeks, he said, “Hey Mom, I need to branch out here in my meal, can I make ravioli next week?”


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Visit the TAPS Online Community Calendar for this week's schedule of text and video chats and other offerings. We have a virtual gathering most days of the week. Whether you want to share your story or just read how other survivors are sharing and coping, this online grief support community is a way for you to develop and strengthen your connections with TAPS.

Other Items and Events of Interest

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This Summer, Youth Programs is hosting TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp at Home through August 28. Each week, there are activities and challenges you can complete individually and as a family. Missed a week? No problem - all activities and challenges from previous weeks are available online. Join us for opportunities for you and the kids to connect to mentors and other families through Zoom sessions.

Make plans to join us for our next Virtual Military Survivor Seminar, August 21 and 22. We have new, dynamic sessions available throughout the weekend at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home. We'll also have Share Groups, our facilitated support groups, where you can meet other survivors with similar loss experience. We look forward to seeing you online soon!

Save the date! Please join us for the Military Survivor New to Grief Seminar, once per week from September 3 to 24. Together we will work toward two primary goals. First, we will grow deeper understandings as we deconstruct myths about grief, explore the cognitive and physical impacts of grief, and seek to establish a helpful language around our own experiences. Second, we will establish community among our peers so that we have others who have a strong desire to accompany us as we continue navigating the ups and downs of our loss and grief.

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Did you lose your loved on due to an illness loss

If your military loved one suffered with a wound, illness, or injury, please consider taking our new Illness Loss Survivor Survey before August 18th, 2020, so TAPS can honor your loved one through our advocacy efforts. If you took the survey last year, we ask that you retake it as we've made important updates. Your response could help shape policy and legislation, and direct future TAPS programs and services. To learn more, email

Have you lost your job, or have reduced work hours? Or are otherwise affected by COVID-19? If you are grieving the death of a loved one, and their life included military service, we'd like to hear from you. Your feedback will be used to improve TAPS programs and to communicate survivor needs to donors and stakeholders. Tell us more.

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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit, log in, and select TAPS as your charity of choice. Amazon will give 0.5% of your eligible purchases to TAPS.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication; written and contributed to by survivors. The primary focus of the Saturday Morning Message is to foster peer-based connection for support and encouragement.  It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive atmosphere where we can openly share in a non-judgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable, and explore any opinions/ideas shared that are most beneficial to you on your individual journey. Content submitted for inclusion in the Saturday Morning Message is edited for spacing considerations, grammatical corrections and may be used in other TAPS publications.  

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If you ever need to speak to someone regarding an urgent matter or just need a listening ear, the loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please feel free to contact TAPS at 800-959-8277.