You are what you eat!
I was cursed at birth with the adoration of food. As a wee little lass I remember being crushed night after night when I was not allowed third helpings of dinner. Indeed my favorite time always seemed to be mealtime and in addition to being envious that my brother would in fact get the third helpings I desired he also seemed to remain string bean width. But as usual, I digress. As a child I associated special occasions and Holidays with specific items of food. My family would sit round our table eyes ablaze with desire as my mother would slice thick chunks of her famous cherry cake on each of our birthdays. We would dance with joy and glee as she pulled out a cast iron skillet encompassing our Christmas morning treat of pillows of dough weaving in and out of buttery cinnamon dusted apples. Thanksgiving to me is not about turkey, but my mom’s “stop your heart” stuffing.
To me it has always been a joy to enjoy food and use it as a focal point in reuniting with friends and family as well as an introduction to new friends and family. It serves to bind us together and connect us with the past as well as the present. I was reminded of my feelings on this matter recently when I asked for a recommendation for an Indian restaurant from a neighbor. Instead of answering that there were not any she replied that she did not know because she does not like food. This was uncomfortable for me on many levels. The first being that I had just made us dinner, also because I really wanted a recommendation, but mostly because I don’t understand how one can function without an undying love for food!
I am not saying I commend gluttony or I preach food snobbery, but how can you not hunger for a scalding bowl of chowder on a snowy day or citrus drenched shrimp after a day of hot summer sun? I then reassessed all of my close friends and family and realized they too shared my gastronomic affection. Some of the most passionate and caring souls I have met are fueled by this desire. Chefs traveling the world trying to share and convey their obsession with the finest and best, preparing pieces of their culture and upbringing in nuggets of desirable convections, pastry connoisseurs who can’t sleep unless their butter cream is perfectly piped atop culinary delights.
It is people like these, the ones that truly marvel at the power of food and want to share it that I admire. This past weekend I was blessed to share feast with true foodies. After six courses of what only can be described as bliss, paired with the appropriate wines and accompaniments, I entered into a food coma where I immediately dreamt each course was taking place once again. One of our co-diners however was so excited by the dinner that night that he claimed he could not sleep after its consumption. Isn’t that the power food should posses? The power to ignite the passion inside your soul and get your blood pumping? Of course food is nutrition, it is meant to keep one living, but shouldn’t it also make you feel alive? I think it should and though I may not be the kind of artist that can create the kind of joy I receive from food, I do intend to keep on enjoying and I hope you will join me.