I believe it was my eleventh birthday that my younger brother gave me, as a birthday present, an avocado. He was seven at the time so that was about what he could afford. But he also knew me well — to this day avocados are one of my favorite food items and I enjoy eating them plain.
Gifts of food come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, packages and reasons. Pinterest has really intimidated me when it comes to ideas for food gifts (if you’ve read much of this blog you may realize that Pinterest intimidates me in a lot of areas). There are so many perfected ideas of Mason jar trifles, ribbon bound packages, and personalized cookies. I’m not going to lie though: Despite an excess of creative food gifts, that avocado — unwrapped, poorly presented, and given from a seven year old — was one of my favorite birthday gifts. I ate that thing all by myself, with a spoon, and it was delicious!
Birthday drinks, popcorn tins, and bottles of wine have all been store-bought food gifts that I have appreciated and made me feel loved. But there is something about a homemade fruitcake, a jar of fresh lemon curd, or a plate of warm cookies that makes you feel special. You know that person took time and energy, that they paused their day to craft something for you. I know they thought of you when they tasted something delicious, and that is just the sort of way I want people to think of me. Recently a friend returned borrowed Tupperware, only first she filled it with garlicky pasta and grilled chicken dish. I am blessed with friends who love me and know me well!
We, as humans, often think of how we will be remembered or what we will leave behind. My grandfather’s mother’s coffee cake was passed down from her mother and from her mother. I doubt any of those ladies thought they would be remembered for an afternoon cake, but it’s the first thing my grandfather thought of when I asked him about his own thoughts on food. It seems funny that we would be remembered for our culinary contributions to the world, but maybe it’s not our recipes that create a legacy so much as the fact that in feeding people we express our love to them. Sometimes that expression is a daily dinner put on by a mother or a father, sometimes that is the coffee cake brought to bible study, or the box of cookies delivered at Christmas.
What was the last food gift you gave? What will the next food gift you give be?
It’s not everyone’s dream to be remembered for food, but being remembered for how well you love is an idea I can get behind.