Saturday, October 24, 2009


Autumn brings out my "Food is love" weakness. I've heard guests on Oprah and other talk shows demonize this kind of thinking, but I can't help it. When the weather turns cool, I want to cook. I didn't say I wanted to shop, clean up afterwards, or deal with the leftovers, but I do want to cook.

Somethings are primal . . . instinctive. They take a creature back to their primordial roots. For me, brisk air and tumbling leaves transport me back to my young motherhood, when eight little feet pranced around outside, then raced in as dark descended, gathering under my feet, calling out for food, and my time. It was wondrous--my happiness, my joy.

Two of those children have children of their own that they now sidestep in the kitchen, while my table is set for only two most days. But the instincts remain, and the need to nest is as strong as ever.

I want warm, aromatic, comfort food. I've never met a soup I didn't like. Give me a pot of soup and a loaf of hearty bread and I'm good for a week. (Well, and maybe a stick of butter.) Chilies, stews, casseroles--these were made for Autumn. I also want to smell cinnamon and nutmeg, I want onions sauteing and something braising in the crock pot while some divine pie is negating the need for Plug-ins or Glade.

I want to snuggle before a fire with something steaming in my bowl while a soft blanket is draped across my lap. I want to be just chilled enough to pull out those comfy flannels and pop some corn to nibble on while a holiday favorite plays.

All my best moments are framed in good food. Those smells open up a time warp, a Stargate that takes us to Thanksgivings past, to the new-baby-doll smells, and laughter of Christmases long gone, all the while taunting the same enthusiastic need to carry on the traditions for the grandchildren, the neighbors, the new faces now gathering to the circle.

So maybe food really is love, or maybe it was the gift we gave, and still give, to express our love, and the thing that drew us together to share our love.

I wonder if God feels the same sense of joy as He provides for us? My guess is, yes.

1 comment:

  1. "All my best moments are framed in good food." I love this. This is how I feel when I eat things that I enjoyed in childhood. How it takes you on a welcoming memory trip. And the various types of food usually remind me of the people I love. (Like how hot cream of wheat - cinnamon and brown sugar - reminds me of my Granny and how she knew the way to make it just perfectly or how Pizza Hut cheesesticks remind me End of School celebrations with my family).
    I'm really attached to both food and scents for the memories they trigger. The smell of baby powder reminds me of Mom (because her most favorite scented lotion had that main ingredient). And there's this really weird childhood memory trip that happens everytime I smell a certain type of Glade Plug-In. (I think the scent is something like 'after the rain' or a combo of rainfall and lavender' but it drives my mind crazy - in a good way - because it smells like the TOYS I used to play with as a little kid. It smells like the plastic of a My Little Pony or a She-Ra doll ... it's trippy but really fun).