The love we put into making a meal becomes a part of it and alters its nature. Through our touch, even unconsciously through our breath, our emotions are transfered to the stuff we're preparing and then on to the people we're feeding. I think this explains why food made with love is always a feast and over complex food that has been no fun to prepare can be so very unappealing. I read a book about home cooking from Mumbai and this quote stayed with me, "The most important ingredient's in our samosas is laughter". All food should fee this way.
That's why I love making tea in the pot, and appreciate when it's done for me. It's not that much more effort, but it represents makes all the difference in the world.
It's also why I love buying food from a local butcher, or a farmer's market. You can taste the love, care and attention in what they're selling too.
Now, not everyone has the time to put loads of effort in, but like most things, A little bit of effort goes a long way. Fresh pasta you've cut yourself instead of the dried stuff, roasting a chicken as normal, but coating with a crumbled stock cube to crisp the skin...or tucking garlic under the skin, fresh herbs chopped into a bought soup, fresh vegetables added to a bought sauce. Just little things that show you've been thinking about someone while you've made this, that's all it has to be.