Mealtime Memories: Down to the Last Bite

I wonder if people really know. I mean, do people really know what it means to have a good meal? I wonder how many people truly understand the experience and the rituals behind fine dining or good food. Then again, I suppose that culture and background is everything and that yes, my version of a great meal might not reach the same flavor to someone else. But ah, I can say this without any doubt: Food is love.
It’s not just the food itself. It’s the meal. It’s the manner in which it’s prepared and how the food is shared. This can happen anywhere too or even out of a brown paper bag. A shared meal is perhaps the most comforting, giving and charitable expression that we can share with each other. And again, it’s not just the menu or the meal but or how the plates are passed around the table. It’s not always about money either or expensive dishes. 
On the contrary, there are meals that can be had for an affordable rate. The attention to detail, the power held in the ingredients and the flavors can be a perfectly connecting detail.

There are times when the fast food options hit the target. While I can agree with the over-stuffed aftermath of too many tacos or burritos; still, there is a fun nature or experience to this. In which case, I agree that fast food might not always be healthy for the belly but the memories are certainly good for your heart.

I understand the saying about a family that plays together, stays together. However, I can offer that in addition to playing together; a family that eats together or a family that prepares meals together stays together as well.
In fact, some of my best memories from my youth and my family are centered around meals. Can you relate? Can you relate to the holidays when the tables were filled with plates and silverware and every favorite dish you can think of was on the table just waiting to be devoured? Yes, something spilled every year and at least one glass or one dish broke. Of course, someone would always regard this and say, “It ain’t a party at the Kimmel’s until something gets spilled or broken.” At least this was so in my house.

I think it’s the oils and the seasoning. No, maybe it’s the cheeses and the breads. No, maybe it’s the meats and the sauces or the way the spices make the dish come alive. Or wait, maybe it’s the faces we make at the people we love when we taste something so good. I think this could be it too. The way we see the satisfaction of life when the flavors hit the tongue and, for the moment, nothing can be so wrong that we can’t enjoy our meal together.

Now, I grant you that my metabolism is not what it used to be and yes, I have to pay attention to my food choices. I have to watch what I eat because my health is important and so is the fact that my waistline isn’t what it used to be. Yes, I admittedly attest to the fact that once I was one of those people who could eat anything I wanted. I could eat as much as I wanted and not gain an ounce. But ah, age has a trick to pull and so does karma. I used to laugh at my friends who would go on diets. Meanwhile I’d eat all that I could and, of course, all that I wanted and yes, I celebrated my skinniness in front of them. I laughed until one day age came along to introduce me to myself and said, “Hi. I’m your metabolism. Watch this!”

I don’t know if I saw this coming nor did I think this would happen to me. But it did. I’m not sure if I saw this coming as a new idea but here it is another chapter in a new journal.

I figured that since I’ve shared so many other intimate details about my life, it only makes sense to take this one step further. I’d like to share some of my heartfelt episodes and memories of meals with my family and, most of all, my loved ones. I want to tell about some of my most intimate experiences of love and of family and how memories from the dinner table (while taken in moderation) can be some of the warmest, lifesaving memories of all. 

This is not a cookbook or even a book about fine dining. No, this will be a simple journal based on the connection we share at meal time because yes, food is love. By the way, even bad meals can make for an excellent memory which, of course, I will share about them too. I will offer the lighthearted details of my last experience with White Castle hamburgers and the fact that although the burgers are small, it’s best to set a limit and not exceed more than 10 cheeseburgers and leftover onion rings. But that’s a story for another chapter.

So, I hope you read along and relate this to your own life.

Buen Provecho
Bon Appetit
and enjoy!


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