Food and People


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


The first thing that popped into my mind was, of course, Thanksgiving, quickly followed by Christmas. The meals were almost identical when I was growing up, if we were at home. If we were in Fairmont with our adopted family, that broadened the field of choices.

Then comes the old-fashioned Sunday dinner that was part of my childhood. I especially loved it when we had company, and Mom had fixed one of her mouthwatering rump roasts. Do they still cut rump roasts?  It’s been a long time since I’ve bought much beef.  Can’t believe how expensive it is. In any case, the meals were wonderful, and filled the house with the seductive aroma of roasting meat seasoned with chunks of garlic pushed way down into the cuts Mom made with her paring knife.

I gave my own family the same kind of Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, and for quite some time we also did the big Sunday dinner. Finally, though, my husband said, “You don’t have to go to all this work, Linda. None of us needs to eat this much any more, and you don’t need to work so hard.”  And so our Sunday meal got scaled way back to an ordinary meal, and I have to admit I enjoy the more relaxed day.  And he was right. We don’t need to eat so much these days.

The food was always delicious, always enticing. The smells were almost better than the actual flavors. However, as I think back, what I believe really made those feasts so special was the family, the friends, the people that enriched our lives and  made the occasions so special. Long after the food was cleared away and the stacks of dishes and pots and pans washed, dried, and put away, the fellowship continued into the evenings until it was time to put out the pies and other desserts.

My daughter is the main provider of the holiday/birthday feasts now, and she’s an incredible cook. She’s gone far beyond the things she learned from me, and her meals are always a delight. It’s especially good when she has the house full of friends as well as family. Sometimes we just enjoy visiting.  Sometimes we gather around the piano and sing, especially at Christmas. Everyone enjoys it, even the older kids.

So that makes the feast.  The people, the love, the fellowship, the hospitality.  Food, without all that, is really just food.  The spice is the people.


Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.


The table was set. Candles were lit down the center, with bouquets of roses, deeply red, filling the spaces between the candlesticks.  Music played in the background, filling the room with the richness of stringed instruments, flowing easily to trumpets, flutes, piano, and all the rest. The deep resonance of the bass was the most comforting to her as she inspected the room, making sure everything was as it should be.

There were seats for 19. Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law had been invited, and accepted the request to spend her last hours with them.

All of them were both stunned and excited. The youngest children, perhaps, didn’t have a full understanding, but they knew something very important was taking place and they were solemn as they walked into the room with their parents. The individual families ranged themselves across the table until every seat was filled.  The food was waiting on a buffet  along one wall of the room, but before plates were filled, there were things that needed to be said.

“I love you.  I have always loved you.  You mean more than life to me. Thank you for a lifetime well lived.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I forgive you.”

“I didn’t understand.”

“I know. It’s all right. It doesn’t matter any more.”

“I wish I had known more, done more, given you all more. I regret the times I was selfish.”

“You weren’t selfish. We all knew you did the best for us, the best you could, the best you knew. We’re grateful.”

“This is not goodbye, you know.”

“Yes, we know. When this is over, we’ll be together again in heaven, with God. Nothing that happens here can change that.”

“All right. Let’s have prayer, and then let’s enjoy this wonderful meal.”

The mood changed from solemn to cheerful, sometimes to hilarious as memories were exchanged while the food was consumed. And the food was the most unusual mix of favorites that spanned all their lifetimes.  It didn’t go together.  It didn’t matter.  Grilled burgers, corn on the cob, potato salad; turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, fruit salad; lasagna, homemade bread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes. Cranberry sauce.  Lemon curd cheesecake. So many wonderful dishes, and they all had a sampling of the things they particularly enjoyed.

“Dad.  When will it happen?  Will there be any warning?”

“I don’t know. Probably not. I know only that there could be no better way for our lives here to end than for us all to be together. There is nothing to fear. We won’t———–“