Saturday Morning Message: BBQ, Apple Pie and other Foods that Remind Us of Love

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Sharing food that our loved ones liked is the topic for today’s Saturday Morning Message, because today is Culinarians’ Day. The opening picture comes from an article in the TAPS archives titled "Love in the Kitchen" written by Rita, mother of James Shawn. She writes that she and her son liked to cook enchiladas. They would put a variety of ingredients into the enchiladas, but other members of the family wanted only certain extras, so her son put a small flag into the one for him, so the others could tell the difference. I thought it would make a perfect picture for the beginning of this message.

Enchilada dish

The responses this week came from all over the country. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What is a favorite food your loved one liked and why was this dish special?

From Don, father of Joshua: Josh loved eating Chesapeake Bay Blue Claw crabs and beer to go with it. Growing up in Delaware and with the family he had, his love for crabs grew almost immediately. The beer came later. Our family would have several crab parties over the course of each summer and this equated to fun times for Josh growing up. For those who have not had the experience of picking crabs, there is an art to mastering the technique and Josh had it down at a very early age. As he grew older, this was the one food I knew I needed to figure out how to schedule into our short visits while he was on leave. We could sit for hours picking crabs and sharing stories about his life in the Navy, and subsequently, our lives while he was away. In fact, we just celebrated his 33rd birthday with a mini crab party. All that was missing was his physical presence. He was totally with us in spirit.... proof that love lives on.

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: Bear loved okonomiyaki, Hiroshima style. So did I. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake including a variety of ingredients that are on hand. It's basically a trash plate in Japan. We never found it in America. We ate it many times in Japan. 

apple pie

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: Eugene made this scrumptious apple pie. When he graduated from Penn State University and moved to Annapolis, I gave him my treasured family recipe book. In there was his great grandmother’s famous apple pie recipe that she taught me and no one else in the family. It was special. He phoned to make sure what was in the recipe was really needed to make the pie. It turned out so well, he would make the pie to bring when invited to someone’s home for dinner. 

From Kitty, mother of John: John was a great BBQer. He grilled steaks (his favorite) and chicken served with his favorite mashed potatoes with gravy and corn. He also loved McDonald's or as he called it, Mickey Dee's. He would stop there after physical therapy and take home a Big Mac, fries and a large Coke. Dining out was rare, but a steak restaurant (Texas Roadhouse) was the choice. When we visit his widow, we celebrate and remember there.

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

How do you display special things your loved one owned?

You never know what will prompt me to come up with a question for this message. Rachel, mother of Matthew, gave me the idea this week. She posted pictures of what she had done to display some of her son’s things along with the folded flag. I thought it would be interesting to use it as a question: How do you display special things your loved one owned? We look forward to your responses and pictures.

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome. You can reply to this message or email In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song, "The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost" sung by Craig Morgan, was sent by Leslie, mother of Eugene, who wrote, “You can’t stop listening to this beautiful song. It’s 9 1/2 years and I miss my son like it happened yesterday.”

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at and include a note about why the song is meaningful to you.

Share Your Thoughts

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 your thoughts will be passed along to them. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.

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Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS Family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).