Something has been nagging at me for over a week and its time to free it from the pit of my stomach. I thought I could let it go, but I just can’t. So please indulge me this rant.
Recently a first cousin, once removed, made a comment on social media regarding the long ago family parties and her relationship with food as a result of these large events.
She said she hated food because of what she perceived were acts of gluttony by her parents and relatives.
Her disparaging remark about people I love, who are here, and some long gone, really stuck in my craw.
Yes, there was always an abundance of food at these holidays, BBQs, and reunions. Much more than the people in attendance could possibly eat. It was the spread that her Mother put out for the company, and other specialties proudly cooked, baked, concocted and brought to the event by all the female guests.
Everyone made a fuss over the food.
It was and is part of our culture and tradition. More than having too much to eat, it is a symbol of hospitality, a display of culinary talent, and a show of love.
The fuss over sausage and peppers, rice balls, or cream puffs was appreciation for the work put into it. How Aunt Frances glowed when we clapped over her sausage rolls. Insane competition over whose meatballs were best, half-joking, but you always took note on whose disappeared the fastest.
We are the children of parents brought up during the depression. To feed someone, or to carry on over food offered to us, is to say I Love You.
I am sorry she didn’t get it then or now. Perhaps she is just too far removed from family and has forgotten the fun times we had around that big table on her Mother’s deck, or the laughter with her Father as he flipped burgers on that bright red BBQ grill.
No, my dear, it wasn’t gluttony, it was family playing with each other. The food was never finished but divided up at the end of the day for everyone to take home a love package.
My wish for you is to remember it as it really was, and for your relationship with food to be a healthy one.