|A delicious-looking meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I was there at Giovanni's I ordered a New York style pizza with anchovies, onions, and pepperoncinis. Not many takers on this one which was okay by me since it's my favorite kind of pizza and taking some leftovers home wasn't all that bad. My brother and youngest sister both tried some and they liked it. That surprised me since I usually don't find many others who like anchovies. Maybe it's kind of a family thing.
After talking about the topic of their meals with my mother, I told her about the meal I had fixed the previous evening for my wife and I and how much my wife had enjoyed it. Then I went on to describe the big breakfast I was planning for Saturday morning--a feast that would include scrambled eggs, patty sausage, potatoes O'Brian, biscuits, and gravy. We do enjoy our Saturday morning breakfasts.
At this point my mother interjected, "All you do is talk about food."
Initially I protested that this was not so because food is not the only thing I talk about, but then conceded that I do talk about food a lot. When the family is together we often go off on the topic of food. I've found this to be true in many scenarios with other people as well. After all we all have to eat, eating can be very enjoyable, and what better thing to talk about since we all probably have some interesting food stories to tell.
Especially when the family is all together for the holidays we'll talk about what we're going to have for dinner that night, go off on a food buying mission for ingredients, spend time preparing the meal, and then talk about food while we're eating and after the meal. Eating is inevitable and the meals together can be significant events.
Now don't get me wrong, we talk about plenty of other things, but the meals are the catalysts for getting together and having conversations. When I think about the pot lucks, the restaurant outings, ceremonial meals for things like weddings and birthdays, and all of the other ritualistic gatherings in which food is consumed, I realize the importance of breaking bread together.
As many of us gather together for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals in the coming weeks, conversations will be flowing. The meals can be excellent prompts to delve into memories of the past. People who have passed on will be remembered. Stories of days gone by will be told. Favorite recipes will be shared. There's nothing like a happy meal together and the conversation that goes with it.
What's for dinner?
Do you find that food is a common topic of discussion when you are with others? At gatherings with family or friends is meal preparation and consumption an important part of the day? Have you found meal times to be useful for gathering information and enjoying entertaining stories?