Friday, August 5, 2011

Food Friday!

You know, until I started talking about food, I never realized how much we manage to say through food without actually saying anything. Yes, I'm aware the sentence doesn't make the best of sense, but just give this a few minutes. There's a nine out of ten chance I'll get where I'm trying to, even though I'm lacking a map.

When you hear Jell-o, what do you think? Me, I'm automatically transported to Ghostbusters 2, and the conversation about hating Jell-o, which I thoroughly agree with. It's just so... wiggly. Gives me the heebie jeebies. And it's also a firm reminder of elementary school lunches, which are tolerable at best and disgusting at worst, or at least that was the case back in the day.

I've rhapsodized about potato salad previously, so you're aware of my love for the dish. If you've been reading (which I hope you have), you'll also know that no version, at least to me, is quite as good as my mama's potato salad. When I'm eating it, I'm reminded both how much she loves me and how much I love her and how lucky I am in that relationship.

Fresh biscuits spread with a mixture of peanut butter and cane syrup will always, until the day I die, remind me of my grandfather and after dinner snacks on his knee. Grilled cheese? The first thing my grandmother ever taught me to cook, something I experimented with dozens of times, while she shook her head and asked me what on earth I was eating.

Ice cream? My friend Sam, who always gets Oreo, while I vary depending on the season and my mood. Ketchup? My friend Fili, who puts it on EVERYTHING. We've shared some moments, both hysterical and harrowing, and I won't ever look at either food without having some memory tug at me.

Which brings me back to the point I attempted to ellucidate above, before the trip down culinary lane. We, humans, we're messy, what with all our emotions and our links and our memories. I think if we had to spell out every emotion, live every memory repeatedly, we'd all go insane. So someone or something gave us the ability to link our emotions, our memories, with everyday things--like food.

You know if you come through the door and your mom or spouse or significant other has your favorite meal on the table that they were thinking of you, that they cared. And when you sit down and eat and relax and enjoy, they know they were appreciated, that their gift didn't go unnoticed. At the end of a long day, you can hold an entire conversation without ever saying a word.

Kind of makes you ponder your next food choice a little, doesn't it?

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