My friend Hannah Seery is a valued friend who understands the effort needed for real community and continues to make that effort in her own friendships. She is also incredibly witty, boldly loves her husband, and is raising an incredibly bright daughter. She was kind enough to share some of her own thoughts about food.
Sitting outside, enjoying breakfast, listening to my daughter tell me the stories of her life. This was a perfect start to the day. Actually, it was a restart. The morning started with tears. The tears were a symptom of a night’s sleep with too few hours for my 10-year-old and a morning come too quickly. The mean mother that I am, knowing our morning would be rushed as we had to be at church early, I made her shower, brush her teeth AND her hair. The decision was made. Coffee was needed. Breakfast was needed. A coffee shop was in order. Finally, we made it to the car. Once we made it to church the restart began.
While enjoying the coolness of the morning, my daughter turned to me and asked, “Mommy, what’s your favorite food?” I thought for a bit. When I was a little kid, it was Italian – always spaghetti or lasagna. In high school I would have answered, “The kind you eat.” While in college, it was back to Italian. By the time I finished college I would say, “Thanksgiving because all my favorite foods appear on one table.” But as for right now I had to give that simple question some thought. “Well at this very moment, my favorite food is this coffee cake we are enjoying.” I could tell by the look on her face that was not the answer she wanted. I thought a little longer and then it hit me. My favorite food is food made for sharing.
My favorite foods are found at a table full of people who have come together to share their time and their stories. My favorite foods show up at holidays with family and friends I love. My favorite foods are there when I need a friend and one was kind enough to share a lunch. My favorite foods made their way into my home to comfort me after my mother passed away. My favorite foods are the meals my daughter makes all by herself. My favorite foods were shared after the birth of my daughter or brought over when I was recovering from knee surgery. My favorite foods center around the idea that food is made to bring people together. Don’t get me wrong, I love some foods more than others: steak over chicken, a BLT over a tuna melt, and even lemon cake over chocolate. But if any of it is made with the desire to share, I promise it will be my favorite.
So on that morning, eating that breakfast, sitting with that kid, coffee cake was my favorite food.