It’s the Food that Binds Us
Above: Country breakfast on the weekends. I put turmeric in the potatoes.
The first weekend I was back I made a country breakfast for the whole family. Homefries with paprika and tumeric, scrambled eggs, toast and turkey sausages. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, especially on the weekends. I love feeling like my family is full and satisfied and can relax. For now the kids don’t really know different but soon they will realize that not all families have the range of home-cooked meals that we do. I was lucky to learn how to cook when I was young but even luckier that I appreciate food, I honor food and mealtime is a sacred, special time. This common thread, this belief, is one of the core connections I share with my family.
Last weekend I went to visit close friends in Fernandina Beach. I have known Amy for about 12 years and was the maid of honor at her wedding. Our friendship has sustained while I moved away to the Dominican Republic for almost 8 years. During that time we each started our respective families. Now that I’m back Stateside, visiting her and her family are a pleasure, in part because our children play so well together, and in part because my love of cooking is a way to gift my friends each time I visit.
So each time I visit, I try to prepare a meal that is special, a meal that will make a memory, a meal that will show how much I enjoy being there. Last trip I made fish in coconut sauce, yuka with a mojo dipping sauce, basmati rice and a cucumber raita. For dessert I did a berry shortcake with blueberries and raspberries. It was a yummy time.
The food was good but it was the process of preparation that I really enjoyed. It’s hard to explain, almost zen, the experience of grinding the spices, combining the ingredients, seeing it come together — it’s like how a painter feels when they mix colors, it’s a sensual pleasure. Indian cultures says that food is a symbol god, food is sacred. I have always loved to cook but since I’ve known him my relationship to food is so different. Now for me, it is through food that I connect with others and show my love for them.