I was prepping dinner for our ARC guests tonight. Water glasses and water? Yes. Bread, bread in the baskets, butter on the table. Everyone has a fork. Nine people? Yes. Nine people. Then Medora said, "I have to fry the peaches."
Just let that loll around on your cerebral tastebuds for a minute.
"Fried peaches! Oh my god. You just said 'fried peaches.'" I waved my arms. My face lit up.
Toss some peach slices in olive oil and make sure they are well coated then place them in a frying pan for one minute per side. Add them to an arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and gorgonzola cheese crumbles. The salad turned out to be delicious. The idea of the salad with fried peaches was even better.
It just dawned on me that I have never given food sufficient credit for its ability to evoke joy, nostalgia, and anticipation, but it has for me done all three. The fried peaches stirred my joy and anticipation today. I just want to say thank you to all the makers of all the dishes that have thrilled me, comforted me, and fed me. Your creations reminded me someone was thinking of me and looking after me, of us. You took the time to make something purposefully and specially. Thank you.
Thank you Mom for the chili, and polish sausage with cabbage and burgers on the grill. Thank you Grandma for sweet rice. Thank you Missy for corn casserole. Thank you to Terre for cream cheese cherry tomato dip. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
For much of my life, I've been the guy that leaves it to someone else to bring a dish to family gatherings or potlucks. Nobody expected much from me and I delivered. I rationalized about always having too much food anyway. I can't cook. It's no big deal. I'm lazy.
I've been missing out. I know I've been missing out. I don't want to just show up. I want to bring something to the table. I want to contribute in a meaningful way. I wonder if I do this in other areas of my life? Probably. Sometimes.
Here is what I know.
At the next family gathering, I want to see Mom's reaction when I say, "I came early to make my salad. I need to fry some peaches."