Making Memories at Mealtimes

Author: TAPS

TAPS was born around a kitchen table, when families grieving a military tragedy came together to support each other and find comfort in knowing they weren’t alone. It was over shared meals and cups of tea that they were able to find a way forward, and still today we find that food is a wonderful way to come together, nourishing our bodies while we feed our souls.


We share memories around the table. Our loved ones’ sense of humor, a joke told across the dinner table that left everyone laughing. Sitting for hours pushing peas around with a spoon until they finally relented to take a single “no-thank-you bite.” The game as Cheerios were strewn around a highchair while the dog rushed in to fill his duty as the resident vacuum cleaner. Movie night with the greasiest pizza and the largest bowl of popcorn that could be found. Saturday mornings filled with making chocolate chip pancakes with extra chocolate sauce to go with bacon and eggs. Lunches packed with notes of love. Mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner when someone took almost the entire dish in one scoop. Engagements marked with a special dessert. Birthday cakes with more frosting than cake.

We make memories around the table. At TAPS events, we find our community when we sit across from a newfound friend who understands our grief. We learn that we are not alone. During potluck meals at TAPS Care Groups, widows connect and forge bonds that last a lifetime. Standing in the buffet line at a TAPS Seminar, parents share similar stories of children who had a passion for their mission. While eating pizza after the Marine Corps Marathon in the Team TAPS tent, surviving siblings laugh about pranks pulled and punishments dodged by blaming their brothers and sisters. Surviving children talk to their military mentors at camp about their loved ones’ favorite foods. We find connection with others while we sit with a cup of coffee and share in the TAPS Online Community. We relax in our favorite chair, sipping tea and finding comfort in the TAPS Magazine or a book from the TAPS book shelf.

Through Recipes of Remembrance, we will take the opportunity to honor our loved ones’ lives of selfless service and their love of family, friends and food. In each issue, we’ll share a personal story, but we also hope you’ll see your family’s story of love here. It is our hope that you will share your loved one’s favorite foods with us, and also make new memories through trying the favorites of your TAPS family’s loved ones. We’re a family, and we are sitting around America’s kitchen table.

Happy cooking. And happy memory making.

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