I don’t know about you, but some of my very best memories growing up involve food in some way. That may be why I constantly battle between my desire to be trim and my love of food (food usually wins).
When I was little, we would often go visit my mother’s family in West Virginia. All the aunts and uncles, grandparents, extended cousins, and a few friends would gather around huge tables of food and have a reunion every year.
We would then traipse up into Mulberry Holler to see the old site of where the home once stood and visit a graveyard on top of a mountain where my mother’s father is buried and a myriad of other ancestors.
At the end of the holler was the treat I always looked forward to. Down a meadow, across a small creek, there sat a little house with a long front porch. It was a fairly simple house, but the treat was that all the cousins would gather and play and Aunt Eula would be waiting to greet you with a smile, a hug and some treat she’d cooked.
I can remember the women gathering around the kitchen table to catch up on gossip and share coffee and food.
Think about it, we mark weddings with a buffet and cake. We mark funerals with an after-dinner. We celebrate holidays with big meals and gatherings.
Nearly every happy childhood memory somehow involves food, from visiting the local fair to going to a school basketball game and munching on nachos.
Food can also bring together different nations and help you make new friends. Even bad food can bring us together as we complain and commiserate about food that isn’t up to our standards.
When you gather with friends, isn’t it often for snacks or a meal together?
Food is the thing that seems to bind us all together. Every living being must get nourishment in some way.
A warm, gooey grilled cheese lets a heartbroken child know she is loved and Mom will always be there to cook her another one.
A cake on our birthdays tells us that someone cared enough to bake it or at least pick one out. It makes us feel special.
There are some comfort foods that can cheer us up just from their smell. Homemade biscuits reminds me of lazy Saturday mornings at one of my favorite aunts’ houses. She’d always make from scratch biscuits and a huge spread of food for us.
Food is the backdrop to our daily lives in so many ways. Food tells us we are loved, we are important, we all have something in common.
So, what is the food that does it for you? What is the one thing that you simply must have to cheer up, for your birthday, or at other times?
For me, when I am ill, I just want someone to bring me a bowl of orange sherbet, because my dad would always go get that for me when I was sick as a child. It makes me feel loved. What is yours?