Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Eat. Pray. Love
It is amazing how foods create memories. For me, food reminds me of my mother. Not that she is a fantabulous cook or anything--her culinary skills consist of meatloaf, mac and cheese and spaghetti--but there were those special moments for me growing up where food wasn't about eating but more about sharing traditions and history. Being the morbid woman that she is, she would always say, "When I'm dead, be sure that you make this just like I did--don't try to substitute any of your healthy ingredients" as she whipped pounds of butter and sugar into her sweet potato pie. Food was about loving--as we argued about how much curry to put in the cornbread dressing and went at it about whether her tuna had too much mayonnaise--at the end of it all, we would laugh as we proudly produced whatever culinary masterpiece that we were working on at the time. Or whatever we slapped together to get dinner on the table.
If I've had a long day or am in need of a good cry (which has been common lately), I simply come home and whip out my recipe file. Hours later, after I've made roasted chicken with tomatoes and chickpeas or baked salmon, I'm okay again. And usually during those times my mother comes and talks to me and we share what happened.
I don't know how I'll live in a world without my mother. But just like mom, somehow preparing a good meal tells me that all is right with the world.