Of Love and Lasagna

Dinner, Shared Story
on October 26, 2012
Vegetarian Lasagna
Teresa Blackburn

Serving Vegetarian Lasagna is a family tradition for poet, painter and Relish reader Diana Randolph of Drummond, Wis. “Food is an act of love to me,” she says. We agree.


I stretch long, cooked noodles
in two oblong pans
one for my family, the other
for friends with a new baby.

Slipping childhood memories of lasagna
between layers of pasta and sauce,
I sprinkle on my past with the Parmesan cheese
so when others taste it
they will know that

I sat snug around a New Jersey table
with my sister, Mom, Dad,
cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents,
empty plates passed
while empty stomachs rumbled.
Mom would slice into the first pan
and scoop up stacked squares upon plates,
mozzarella and ricotta cheese oozing out.

Lasagna, the main course
for each of our family gatherings
including Thanksgiving,
when turkey was a side dish.

Mom’s recipe has evolved in my hands.
I now add chopped Swiss chard
or fresh spinach
and I omit the eggs.

Though Mom is not here anymore,
she taught me well—
to slice and scoop layers of love
upon empty plates.

Randolph is working on a book of poetry, Beacons of the Earth and Sky, containing her writings and landscape painting.

Found in: Dinner, Shared Story