Food: A Testament of a Family’s Love

Caitlin - Bakersfield, California
Entered on May 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, pleasure
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I am traveling down a seemingly deserted Californian highway, nothing but an endless stretch of budding cotton fields and white almond blossoms ahead of me. As I continue on my way, heat now visibly radiating off of the parched cracked ground, the rooftops of a small farming community begin to peak through the distant haze. The town resides smugly in the “heart of cotton country” with tractors bustling in the fields and children playing outside at the local baseball park. Down the road I soon pull into my grandma’s driveway and trek up to her front door. My grandma, known as “Nonni” to me, greets me at the door with a loving smile and a kiss on the cheek. As I step into her quaint home, the sweet aroma of fresh biscotti in the oven fills the air and her stove is overflowing with pots and pans brimful of succulent Italian creations. Gathered around the table I see my close-nit family laughing about an old funny story and I shortly join in by taking my usual seat next to my sister. Now the whole family is together and the food is ready to be served. We all join hands while my brother says the blessing and we then continue enjoying each other’s company over a delicious home cooked meal. This is why I believe in the immense power of food.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my family’s passion for food. Food is more than just a necessity for life; it is a necessity for the well-being and fulfillment of the human soul. Food has the power to bring people together, despite cultural differences or background, and is a unique experience everyone can share in. Powerful emotions such as love and comfort can be conveyed through food as it serves as the ultimate form of expression for those who prepare it. My Nonni’s love and caring spirit is unmistakable every time I sink my teeth into her warm almond-flavored biscotti. The cookies are prepared with the same care and precision as her Italian ancestors did in the past and are a testament to her dedication to me and her loved ones. Food is what binds my family together because it has the seemingly miraculous ability to ease any problems we may be facing at that time. A plate of steaming hot spaghetti doused in my Nonni’s famous sauce brings me far more relief than any words are ever capable of. Eating well is living well and there is no other place I would rather be than gathered around the family table, enjoying the precious moments made possible by food.