Food is not a want, but a necessity. In order to live a productive, healthy life we must have nourishment for our physical body to survive. To me, however, food has been much more than a source of physical energy. A good meal has been much more than an item on a checklist of things I need to remember to do that day. And a meal made with love is always much more delicious than one made just to complete the task. I believe food and family together is a source of happiness. Food brings people together in ways most other activities cannot. For me, hunger does not always mean my stomach is growling. I hunger for food in a way that most people probably wouldn’t understand. It is not my stomach that is longing for a succulent piece of the most tender cut of filet mignon, it is my entire soul. And not only because of the way it smells after its long trip through the buttery, sautéed mushrooms, into the creamy béchamel sauce; But because of the people who are around me at the table, admiring that same flawless, manna from heaven. The people around the table make the food worth eating.
I don’t know where this unique passion came from, but it is there; burning ever brighter with every ounce of food I put in my mouth. I would have to say if anything it could be all thanks to my grandparents. They have instilled in me a passion for good food that will never go away. Their passion was with their family more so than for food, but I would say these go hand in hand. My grandparent always had family dinner. My mom recalls that there was never a night, even a Saturday, when they did not have the good china out with the whole family around the table talking about the wonderful events that occurred that day, learning about each other and growing in love. Grandma and Grandpa knew that the only way to get busy teenage kids to their dinner table every night was with the quality of the meal they provided. My parents have carried on that same tradition. As I have participated in this nightly occurrence for the last 19 years, I have noticed a few things. After a long day of busy schedules, teenage drama, or just a few tough breaks, something always changed at dinnertime. The food and the company simply, uplift. There is nothing like letting laughter force a spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes that was once just sliding down my throat, into the air and onto the plate next to me, as my sister tells the story of her pants splitting in class that day. I remember these experiences well and because of them, I long to be around wonderful food and wonderful people. I believe with all of my heart that the combination of sweet chocolate and salty pretzels are the greatest invention since the oven; I believe that garlic and cilantro are two ingredients that when put together, make miracles happen. But even more so than those, I believe that food and family together can feed your soul in ways that you never even thought possible.
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