Something happens when people sit around a table and eat together.
I’m really not sure what it is, or how to explain it. There’s that innate connection between food and people. Not just a “oh yes, everyone has to eat” type of connection. But one that makes a meal shared with family and friends so much more enjoyable than eating alone.
I grew up in a family where Sunday dinner was the highlight of my week. Yes, Friday was great…the end of the school week! Saturday was also great because I still had Sunday to be lazy. But Sunday dinnertime was my absolute favorite. It couldn’t be beaten.
My dad would cook for my family, and I was his “little sous chef,” which, to a little Grace, was a very big deal.
I took my job VERY seriously. But what was particularly memorable, was that my dad took me very seriously, too. He’d often give me free reign to mix flavors, which, I suppose wasn’t always loved by those eating these creations, but was cherished by me!
Sitting down at the dinner table was more to me than eating great food.
Do you ever remember the smell of something so distinctly, that it brings you back to that very specific moment you first smelled it?
To this day the yeasty smell of pasta coming out of boiling water, or shallots sautéing on the stove, brings me back to childhood Sundays.
Sitting in a straight-back wooden chair in my family’s barn-red dining room. A paper napkin tucked on my lap. Frank Sinatra crooning in the background. The clatter of forks scrapping against my mom’s favorite blue and white dishes. My sister’s giggle.
Even with passing years – as I now approach my 23rd birthday – those memories will never leave me without a smile and a rumbling belly.