Sera’s Monologue: Feed the Body and Soul

Let’s talk about food. After all, isn’t that a pivotal part of this website, food?

The two things I’m rather known for is my love of food and film. One of my favorite films to this day is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It is a fun look at the Greek family dynamic as we follow a woman who has always felt out of place in her large family and finds love with a non-Greek. Why am I changing topics? I’m not. Food plays a major role in this film. The family owns a restaurant, the mother is constantly offering food, and the family is always eating. Someone is upset? Eat something. Serious discussions to be had? Food for everyone! It is a vital part of their interactions.

Whenever a movie wants to display friendship, family, and togetherness, they add food, laughter, and drink. Under the Tuscan Sun, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Lady and the Tramp are just a few movies in which food is a way of connecting with others. Dinner with friends, caring for your children, or just connecting with a new love over a plate of delicious spaghetti and meatballs – food for the body and the soul.

Food is vital, not just to living, but to being alive.

Some of the best memories I have are related to food. My father taking me to obscure restaurants to try vegan food from around the world. Pizza in a takeaway box on the floor the first time my husband and I made love. Late night hot wings with my oldest and dearest friends.

I taste an old recipe and it brings me back to 3am, 10 years old, my best friend giggling beside me as we make microwave pizzas and popcorn with lays chips. It wouldn’t matter that we’d been up since 10am and should have been asleep; my light sleeping mother probably would have been easily woke by the microwave; we giggled anyway. Fifteen years later, we wouldn’t be as close, but we’d laugh and remember with nostalgia of late summer nights, where nothing was learned but everything remembered.

I smell black coffee and cinnamon rolls, and I’m back to Sunday mornings with my dad, just the two of us enjoying a snack before church. He’d talk too loud and I’d talk just as loud, both because he can’t hear as well as others. He’d read me reviews for new movies, discuss politics in his single-minded view, and give his strong opinion on the way people behaved. He was offensive, he was rude, and people always stared. But he was my dad, and these were the few times I could ignore the stares and just laugh at his boisterous, opinionated mind. I’d taste cinnamon rolls all day.

I taste good Italian pasta and I remember my favorite restaurant back home, with fire baked bread and friendly staff, too many memories to name. The same waiter every year, his hairline slowly receding and his smile always the same. They saw me through several boyfriends, several best friends, but I was constant. It was a comfort, familiar, warm, and it was one of the hardest places to leave behind when I moved away.

Food. It brings you home, back to the moments that made you who you are. Taste triggers memory, which triggers nostalgia, and we don’t just eat to survive. We eat to live.

Find a recipe, steal grandma’s cookbook if you must, and make something that will leave a lasting impression. Get your family together, gather your friends, and make memories.

Feed your body, but also feed your soul.