- Our willingness to open our home to others, to welcome them in, sit together, create a network of new and old friends, and commit to time spent sharing in the incredible joy that is nourishing to our body, mind, and soul.
- Our acceptance of one another, that despite differences in how we look, where we are from, our different cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs, gender, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic differences, and even differences in political viewpoints, that when sitting down to share a meal, we may converse but listen with an open heart to one another’s perspectives.
- Our generosity in sharing stories, funny and sad, and often re-creating the moments that are seared into our memories from the experiences each of us have cherished, so that the others at the table may share in the joy and learning of our lives.
- Teaching and sharing with our children, the importance of being generous and always opening our hearts and doors to others, especially when they are in need.
- Sharing our childhood and culture, with home cooked dishes reflecting our origin and what our mothers and grandmothers cooked for us, so that our guests may share what’s special to us and perhaps develop a taste for foods we crave that represent comfort and love to us.
- When families come together, especially for holidays and special occasions, a meal together means that being close, and together again, is way more important and perhaps erases less than ideal conversations, interactions, and tension from a variety of circumstances and times past, and any previous misunderstandings.
- Time stands still when we sit and share a meal. As we enjoy our food and company, no one is really worried or thinking about later, tomorrow, or whatever else needs to be done. Nothing is more important than sitting down and enjoying freshly prepared foods.
- Great meals are followed by the need to clean up. Often those involved in sharing the meal also pitch in together in the clean up efforts. This makes us feel closer as well.
- Coffee and dessert are a bonus! Often, by this time, especially after couple glasses of wine perhaps, everyone is relaxed, pleasantly nourished from good food and comforted by great company. More meaningful topics may surface.
- Meals represent the love that the host/hostess has towards his/her guests, and the effort and commitment to do so much work in the service of others.
- They represent the human bond and experience of pure love.
- If you are lucky, those sitting around the table will talk about their lives, experiences, factors that influenced them into the person they are today, their hopes and dreams, shared learning about their marriages, careers, and parenthood.
- The importance of being together under one roof, for good times and bad. Wedding, bridal and baby showers, and funerals, birthdays, graduations, and parties, ALL involve food and the coming together to partake in the most commemorated moments of our lives.
We just spent a special Memorial Day Weekend as I worked with my social media guru Kelly and her husband Brently, visiting form Salt Lake City, to shoot my soon-to-be-released online courses. (More info on Thursday's blog!)
From the time they arrived Thursday at 5pm, we enjoyed many meals together, including those shared with close friends throughout the weekend. Thursday evening I was also returning from speaking engagements in Pittsburgh and DC. Thankfully I had bolognese sauce saved from last Sunday, and we had a beautiful pasta dinner with caesar salad.
Friday, Saturday, and Monday, I went to the grocery store and restocked on fresh fruit, produce, and other items, since I spent the weekend in the kitchen happily preparing each meal. We sat at our round eating table and enjoyed meals with music and laughter, we cleaned up, and then continued sitting to share in authentic and intimate conversations.
Saturday night Dave grilled steaks and chicken, while I made fresh guacamole, salad, cut up watermelon, and roasted potatoes.
Sunday Dave made barbecued pork loin ribs, I made corn on the cob, Greek salad, insalata caprese and heated up store bought baked beans.
Lunches were turkey, pesto, and provolone panini sandwiches, and breakfasts also included ham and cheese croissants!
Yesterday I made french toast, eggs, bacon, and smoothies. Every morning we used the Vitamix to have fresh berry smoothies!
So other than the great food shared amongst friends, what do meals really mean and represent?
What do meals mean for you?