Friday, January 13, 2012


It is beautiful how food brings people together. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate, reminisce, discuss, imagine, familiarize, entertain, postulate, create....

Or simply just be in each others' presence.

Some of the best memories of my college years were times spent in the kitchen preparing a feast with friends. We typically attached a holiday to our feasts. There is always some reason to celebrate, right? The end of midterms, a saint's feast day, the beginning of a new season, the completion of a term paper, a fresh haircut, the arrival of a care-package, the purchase of a bar of chocolate. I tell you, we could come up with just about any reason to eat and procrastinate.

I was part, then, of an informal Breakfast Club. Those of us who were early birds would gather in the Commons before the breakfast line even opened, teasing each other, sipping our warm cups of tea, avoiding last-minute preparations for class. We would speak of absorbing current events, argue perennial questions, relate the happenings of relationships on campus, debate the effects of various wars on our country. Motivation for an early wake up call more often than not came from a desire to find something a bit more nutritious and filling than the standard cafeteria fare -- which did not always come in the form of physical nourishment.

I still crave these moments of togetherness. The moments in the day where we nearly stop the pull towards sunset which seems taut and rushed. It is a deliberate moment, albeit often spontaneous. A moment of ingenuity, if just the smallest spark. These moments are quintessential in the lifespan of a human existence.

I find those moments now again as I construct gingerbread houses with mini wheat tiled roofs alongside my brothers, slice into half moon raviolis during an Italian festa with my mother, mix inventive cocktails with my fiance, sip tea and nibble shortbread with a friend, can steaming jars of apple butter with a patient team.

The collaborative creation of a meal and the communal enjoyment of it. Opportunities for togetherness.  

1 comment:

Emma said...

I still miss the Breakfast Table. The essence of our community life could be found in those few moments every morning before class, drinking tea and chatting with my classmates while watching James Tilman crack eggs against his forehead. Nothing is so much a part of community as eating!