Friday, February 20, 2015

Let's Get Personal

Food is personal. We each have our own likes, dislikes, rules about what we eat. I got to thinking about this today as I was prepping for a friends bridal shower.

She likes to eat a diet that is gluten free, low on dairy and doesn't do well with spicy. I love to cook for her. Because food is how I share what I love with my family and friends. If what I make for her makes her happy, then I am happy. See how that works?

A very talented chef I know, who is steeped in French techniques up to his eyebrows, refuses to share food from his plate when eating with others. It angers him and that makes me laugh. What was dinner like at his house that not sharing was so ingrained into him? (He was also very anti-alternative diets. When he heard about the folks who only eat food that falls off the bush or tree he laughingly asked "What if I climb a tree and throw a motherfucking cheeseburger at them?" So there is that...) 

My family ate dinner together at least 4 times a week, if not more. It was just what was done. There were sports to be gotten to, plays, band, etc, but we still sat down at the table most nights together. When more of the family got together (Irish-Italian Catholics, so there are about 1 bazillion of us) for holidays or parties, food again starred and kept everyone at the table. Even when the arguing would start, as it always does.

I also started thinking about how much I like sharing food with friends, after a great Chinese New Year Dim Sum lunch I had with some former co-workers. 

"Let's do this once a month!" was mentioned more than once. The basic act of feeding ourselves is turned into a celebration when you share it with friends and the food is wonderful, new and interesting.

A former roommate of mine, didn't take to my trying to cook for her. That's, again, how I show folks I care. But it made her uncomfortable. It was frustrating for me, as I didn't understand it. 

Until, after a while, she told me stories of her mom would come home exhausted from working all day and then would cook dinner for the family. It was a task her mom hated and resented. So my friend felt guilty whenever someone would cook for her. Now we go out to eat and she gets to order what she wants guilt free and I still get to share what I love with her. 

To me it doesn't matter if you only eat chicken on the bone, can't eat bananas or think vegetables are for rabbits.

There is so much food in this world that we can share, we'll have something to eat. But I do reserve the right to make fun of you about it, as I would hope you would do to me as well, because we can.