When Ya Here Ya Family

This weeks episode of Was That In Good Taste is a lighthearted and fun conversation about food. The Blog Post is a little more serious but I hope you like it. Give the Podcast a listen on the links down below.

Food as an important place in my life, every memory that I have that matters in some way involves food. People and experiences that we have with them are everything. Here are two quick stories about my life featuring people that I love with food as the centerpiece.

The Baby

I’ve known Adrianna since April 20th 2007. Any who knows me knows how important she is to me. she has been a fixture for over a decade and I don’t see that changing. Things do change however, people grow, grow apart and build new lives. So when I first found out that she was pregnant my heart broke. I thought that I would never See her again.

That’s what happens when people have kids isn’t it? Your life becomes your children and everyone around you who isn’t your child either put on the back burner or taken off of the fire completely. Yeah I’m selfish, but when you spend years of your life with someone any change seems like it could be the end of the world.

Red Bamboo is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the village. Adrianna had introduced me to it the year before and since then it had become one of my favorite places to go. So much so that I’d taken my ex-girlfriend, my mother, and even my grandfather. I thought it would be some sort of goodbye. I even told her as much the second time that we went to Red Bamboo that week. I remember sitting across from her and saying that I felt like I was never her again. I don’t think that I had the emotional maturity and self-awareness that I do now. over my quote-unquote mango chicken, I was begging her to not forget me. It felt like a funeral. I wasn’t mad at her for being pregnant, I was scared that I would lose this important person.

So we ate.

This was a turning point in our lives. She was pregnant and I was afraid that I was going to lose my closest friend, my partner, my youth. Yeah I’m making it a little deeper than it has to be, but change isn’t easy. I’m very fortunate Adrianna and her beautiful son are still in my life. I’ll never forget that meal, because no matter how much I was scared things will change – they didn’t. That wasn’t our last meal together. it was just one of many to go.

The Wake

My grandfather died abruptly. As it always happens with the elderly. One day he was fine and the next he was dead. like all deaths there is a mixture of anger and tears. There are phone calls from people I’ve never met asking questions about words in an obituary. Family members that I don’t really know or remember comforting me. Under it all living inside me a resentment I didn’t know I was capable of. Where was this family when my grandfather had a heart attack? where were these people in my life?

I was angry.

Along with family comes food. food that I was resentful that I had to purchase, and that my mother and I had to make. Delicious homemade food made for people whose names I can barely remember. Still, something happens when food is put in front of me. As I clear it out my dining room, place the tin pans of macaroni and cheese, collard greens, on the counter – I begin to forget my resentment. I wasn’t even eating the food, It wasn’t for me.

I found it hard to stay angry when I’m handing someone a plate of food. I forget these people have not been in my life, even as I learn that half of them live in Manhattan! These people are Strangers. Over a plate of food they become family. We laugh, we eat, we remember. That is the power of food. A good meal can make you forget, even if only for a moment.

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