Thursday, June 09, 2011

Food for Thought

The most sincere love of all is the love of food. - George Bernard Shaw

I'm a passionate person by nature. In thinking a bit the last few days about where my passions lie, it kept coming back over and over again to a singular word with vast possiblities: food. It's one of the most fullfilling things in this natural life. Of course you all know me well enough to know that I'm talking about "food" here. The real stuff. That grows in dirt. That roams free. That nourishes both body and soul. I'll never forget the first meal I had with our friends, H & A. I audibly "mmmed" and our friendship solidified in that moment. I adore people who eat audibly. You close your eyes in rapture while eating and we're friends for life.

Not much opens one's senses so completely than a good meal. I've used this comparison ) before, but it's a good one, so I'll use it again - nam pla prik pbon. It is a perfect balance. Absolutely perfect. There's this common phrase I love to hate "food isn't love." I often beg to differ. When my life seems to be thrown off kilter and things spin out of control - nothing settles me more than hitting up my Thai joint for a meal that brings me inner calm and centers me. It's nearly spiritual. A bowlful of tom yum with a hefty spoonful of nam pla prik pbon stirred in - it's like a bowl of meditation.

When I care about people - I want desperately to feed them. You could call me Grandma Ardis and not be far off. I worry and I feed. I may just adopt "eat now" and be completely okay with that. Quite often I come across a dish and it's so utterly amazing that I want to feed it to absolutely everyone I love. That happened two nights ago. Kimchi fried rice topped with a fried egg. Simple and yet complex. It tugged at my heartstrings. I swooned.

Food invokes memories. A particular texture, flavor, presentation, cuisine - can bring me back to someone. Great Aunt Dorothy - rosettes. Great Grandma Milly - lemons, peaches, cherries, blueberry scones and salt water taffy. Grandpa Homer - pan fried fish and Rolaids. It's guaranteed if I know you even a smidgen that I have a food related memory of you. I hang onto them fiercely.

Bon appetit!

When a woman stays at home and cooks with good judgement and understanding, peace and happiness result. She thus controls the family's health and destiny, also her husband's mood, disposition and feeling, and assures the futures of her children. - Unknown


Mindy said...

even though it scares me i want to know if you have a food related memory of me.

Cheri said...

i'm with mindy

Shannon said...

mindy - you enlightened me to fresh figs dipped in yogurt. amazing. i can't tell you how many pints i went through last season. and that season is about upon us! eeeyyi! i'm giddy. also, chocolate truffles, trader joes, mcdonald's fries (why?!), pumpkin beer (again, why?!), mushrooms (you dislike, right?)

cheri - us "dieting" and eating an exact cup of cheerios with an exact half cup of skim milk at your house one summer, licorice (not sure why), root beer.

Mindy said...

how can i explain mcdonald's fries or pumpkin beer. either you get it or you don't! and yes i hate mushrooms unless they happen to be freshly hunted morels battered & fried in butter. the hunting of them is the bet part!

Anita said...

When I first was in this work, I remembered where we'd been by the food we'd had. My co thought I was nuts... ;)
I still have strong food associations with some people and places

shannon g said...

i'm curious too... haha (and curiosity killed the cat as well)

Shannon said...

shannon - fudge. you ARE fudge! and, um, disco jello. heh heh.

shannon g said...

the fudge one....i don't remember that.

shannon g said...

so like you associate people with food, i associate them with the houses/places they've lived that i've been too. and that's pretty much how my family figures out when past things happened (when you move often enough this works)