My mother’s favorite verse in the Bible is John 21:12. It’s after the resurrection, and the disciples are fishing. A man on the shore calls out to them, hears that they are not catching much, and gives them some advice — Try putting the nets on the other side of the boat. The nets fill up, the disciples realize the man is Jesus, and they begin to shout and carry on. Peter jumps into the water to swim to him. And Jesus says to them, “Come and eat breakfast.”
Don’t worry, my non-Bible-thumping ones. I’m not going to start sermonizing regularly. (For one thing, Sugar would have a fit. For another, I’m an Episcopalian, and we know our limits. Ours is not to preach but to polish old wood pews, to wring our hands over “tradition”, and to try not to spill our martinis on the needlepoint pillows….) Take comfort: the Bible-thumpers are clucking their tongues over my lowercase “him” above — I like Jesus better as a son of man than as a son of God, sometimes. I am an equal-opportunity offender.
Come to it, that verse might be my favorite, too. It gets to the heart of my beliefs about human connection: that the best way to show (and to build) our love for each other is to break bread. This idea is hardly unique to Christianity, I realize, nor to religion.
So, please: come and eat with me.
I’d like to invite you to last Sunday’s dinner. It was a quiet affair, at home in our cluttered apartment. I’d rather cook and drink wine and talk to you than wipe down the backsplash; I hope you don’t mind. I started cooking a little later than I meant to, so we’ll all have to sit around and talk while the food finishes. Sugar made a pie, whose crust she almost wouldn’t let me take pictures of, because the weather is damp and the dough was testy and she was afraid you’d disapprove. But I know you’ll see that pie as more perfect because of the fingerprints left from her mending the dough. (And I assure you, it tastes just fine.) The pie is made of rhubarb — which always makes me think of Sugar’s grandmother, who grows stalks taller than she is — and strawberries for the coming of summer and peaches from the freezer, a last-minute improvisation when the strawberries and rhubarb didn’t fill the shell.
You’ll meet my most long-standing friend, who sat on my mother’s pregnant belly as a baby and started crying when I kicked her. She’s still threatening to get me back for that, but I say it was fairly dealt: she SAT on me, after all. Our mothers were close during their pregnancies and her mother watched us both as babies, so we are built of some of the same food. (These days, I take some comfort in the knowledge that none of that would have happened if my mother had been able to get pregnant when she’d first wanted to. No Bug in my life? Impossible.) I can’t believe that after being separated as young children, we’ve ended up living three blocks from each other, hundreds of miles from our various early homes. Womb Buddy’s talking about moving away, and we’re trying to talk her out of it but mostly trying to feed her well while she’s here, make sure the bonds of shared food stay strong.
And now, if you’d like, it’s your turn. I’ve read some beautiful posts about food and eating together on your blogs recently (to say nothing of my ongoing delight in starhillgirl’s requests to log my lunch) which inspired this attempted meme. Add your name and blog to the Mr. Linky list, and write a post about a meal this week. The ways food bonds us are multifarious, so your post can be pictures of a meal you made, a favorite or new recipe, a shared croissant with an old friend at a coffee shop. It can be wordy or just a picture.
I’ll write one of these every week and invite you to do the same, like an edible version of Mel’s (late, lamented) Show and Tell. Visit each other’s posts, please, and write comments to let folks know you’ve come to the table. If you’re writing about kids or babies — and I hope you will, because I believe feeding children is about much, much more than just making sure they don’t starve to death — put a * after your name, in case ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) folks aren’t in a good place for that. (Tip o’ the cursor to Calliope’s excellent suggestion at her Photo Friday project.)
(This is my first time using Mr. Linky, so maybe leave a comment, too, in case I didn’t do it right.)