I'm thankful for food today, but not just in the being thankful that I have enough to eat way. (Which I am, of course!)
I'm thankful for the strong connections that food can make between people.
For A and I, talking about food, shopping for food, cooking together, eating together - that's what binds us as a couple outside of our role as R's parents. We love the adventure of food, of trying new things and new restaurants, of sharing each other's meals. We talk about food and recipes and produce and cheese and wine A LOT. Going through cookbooks and cooking/baking catalogs and kitchen stores is thrilling to us.
This same love of food - and talking about it - is woven through our relationships with my family, too. Every time we visit my dad, he prepares an amazing feast, usually beginning with an antipasti platter like the one above. Inevitably, our conversation centers around food. My dad shares stories of restaurants he's been to, remembered by a particular dish he had there. And, usually, while I occupy R in the other room, my dad and A chat about food in the kitchen. It has helped my dad and my husband make a connection.
My youngest sister and I share the food connection, too. When we catch up, we usually talk about what we've made. She is a whiz with preserves and cookies; I make a mean pie crust and blueberry buckle.
Food connects people with their family heritage (which is why I've been obsessed with my Swedish cookbooks recently). Having a recipe box full of handed-down recipes from family and old friends is as precious as a photo album. I think of my sweet grandma every time I bake something because I use her Jadeite bowl to mix my batter. And, A has learned to cook my favorite meal from growing up, my mom's pork chops with rice and mushroom gravy.
Some of my favorite memories with friends are of a crew of us, crowded around a tiny kitchen table at our friends' tiny farmhouse, devouring bread and cheese and wine together. Or, at another friend's rustic vacation house on Martha's Vineyard, when we all tramp down to the docks, buy whatever seafood we want, and then cook it up for everyone to share - after enjoying a baked stuffed quahog right there on the docks.
Last night, A and I had planned a fall feast to share with friends, but our friends were sick and couldn't make it. We were disappointed at first, but we decided instead to enjoy the food anyway. We had warm, crusty bread, Cotswold cheese, fresh pear slices, and local hard cider to start. Then, A made up a batch of his spicy pumpkin ginger soup. Finally, we had a pork roast, with slices of homemade cranberry bread on the side. Nothing fancy, but a perfect meal to warm you up on a chilly night, while sitting by candlelight and in the glow of the fireplace. It was magical and helped A and R and I relax and reconnect after a busy weekend.
What connections has food made for you? What are your favorite food blogs? (I was going to list mine, but there are too many to count!)