Nights Around the Dinner Table

When I was growing up, we didn’t eat out much. Mom cooked. Dad helped a lot. We ate together whenever possible, and always at the table. There were rare occasions where dinner was eaten in front of the tv, but most of the time, we sat down, we ate, and we spent time together as a family. There were distractions at times, but they were interactive, not isolating, as we played games together or recounted our day’s activities. To this day, my preferences for food and penchant for dining with company are influenced by those early meals.

Mom encouraged us to help in the kitchen, but didn’t force us. I’m pretty sure cooking was one of the creative outlets she enjoyed most. She loved my dad so much she learned to cook traditional mexican dishes from his mother, and made some wonderful salsas to keep handy and feed Dad’s heat obsession. She didn’t always have the budget to cook beyond mac and cheese most days, but she always found ways to dress it up. Hers is the only beef liver I’ve ever enjoyed, but when the breading is that good, ketchup was often unnecessary.

My mom isn’t able to cook anymore, for reasons I’d rather not dwell on here. It’s tough not being able to share my passion for food with her now that I’ve embraced it so thoroughly. Maybe someday…

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