Thursday, November 13, 2014

It Really is All About the Food

My sister and I have had this running joke for years. In our house growing up, one of the first questions my mom would ask if we had been out was "what did you have to eat", or "how was the food?" In high school, I worked on the weekends waitressing for a large catering company. When I'd get home from working a wedding or event, my mom would want every detail of the menu. We could spend an hour talking about the scallops wrapped in bacon or the spinach triangles make from phyllo dough. My catering friends would even send me home with the leftovers for her.
 Family cookouts were a huge deal in our house, as were holidays, and even Saturday lunches out. All those menus to plan. It seemed to have far less to do with who would be there, and far more to do with what we would eat.  So...over time, the running joke prevailed.  When there were gatherings that included my mom (and this still continues to this day), it really was all about the food.

But here's the thing -- she was right.

My boy was home from college this weekend (can you hear the glee in my voice?). Days before his arrival, the questions began via text message.

Me: Food ideas please!!! Dinner Saturday night? Crepes on Sunday?

Cole: I would love a simple pasta and chicken dinner.

Me: Like carbonara or fettuccine alfredo? Or pasta with red sauce?

Cole: Oooooo carbonara would be clutch.

Clutch, apparently, is a good thing.

The next day, as I'm getting ready to make the three plus hour drive to pick him up, I inform him that I'm bringing banana muffins for his ride home. He loves banana muffins.

So the weekend unfolded with an amazing dinner of spaghetti carbonara with pancetta and peas (thank you, Mike) and was capped off with crepes on Sunday morning, one of our favorite traditions.

 Joe, Cole's good friend, even came to join us. He knew exactly when the last time was that he had joined us for crepes, and could recount the times he missed  for various reasons.

So I'm telling you all this, not so you can rest assured that no Iafollas went hungry last weekend, but to explain why it really is all about the food. In our house, and I'm guessing in so many of yours, the food is so entwined in all of the good feelings and all of the memories, and absolutely in all of the best stories. I feel like we are our best selves when gathered around a table. Feeding our family and friends is just another way to show them how very much they are loved (I talked a lot about this BACK HERE ). And in a house filled with girls who love to talk and share, and boys who would rather not (husband included), the table is a wonderful place to find common ground.

It was a great weekend. Far too short, and not enough time with my boy (I reluctantly shared him with his friends), but filled with lots of hugs and great talks and just being.

And on his way out the door, Mike put a still warm loaf of homemade pumpkin bread in Cole's hands to take back to school. Because in case you were wondering, it really is all about the food.

This is our well-loved recipe. We use a whole stick of butter and regular muffin pans. They are delicious with chocolate chips or blueberries too.