Have you ever experienced that perfect moment when something truly speaks to your soul? It could be a person, song, book, scripture. For whatever reason you hear it and it resonates so deep you feel like it might have been put out there just for you alone. Recently I read a book by Anthony Bourdain. He is a pretty famous chef who is tall and awkward looking. I saw him a couple of times on TV and he sparked my interest. He seems to do things a little far out... a little risky. So I picked out one of his books from the library. A Cook's Tour. It was an interesting book to say the least. He set out on a tour of the world to find the perfect meal. He went of course to France and then less popular foodie places such as Vietnam. Many places and many stomach problems! I have to say that I was enraptured by this book. How cool is it for a person to be paid to travel the world looking for the perfect meal? After all of these incredible experiences, at the end of the book he said something that clicked. It went something like this... He was sitting in a tropical location with his wife that he had been absent from for almost a year. The sun was hot, he had a nice little buzz going on and they ordered a cheeseburger from one of those hokey restaurants on the beach.
This was his perfect meal.
Why did this hit me so deep?
Well for those of you who know me, know that I love to cook for friends and family. I also love to entertain. I just sometimes get really caught up in the Marthaness (I know this is not a word) of it all. I want to everything to be perfect! I want to wow my guest and I want them to rave over every little detail that I have put into the night. Now for the most part I do have successful parties, but a lot of the time I am so stressed out or have put so much into it that I am either a wreck or totally unavailable to my guests.
When I look back on times that I have totally enjoyed myself, it is over the PB&J sandwiches with my best girlfriend while the kids played in the pool.
We do not need to be Martha to have the "perfect meal".
While I love to feed my friends, it does not need to be a four course wow fest. It can be simple ingredients prepared with heart. Breaking bread and sharing your life is what really brings us together. To share this with others is my passion. It gives me purpose and meaning in my life. I even love cooking for my kids and hubby every night. Yes, it does get old some days, but for the most part it makes me whole. I love sitting down to a table of people, kids and all and connecting with each other. It may be cliche but talking to my children after the day is done over food seems to push the days issues aside and we can be family. I don't think that it is pure coincidence that Christ broke bread with his disciples to illustrate his death on the cross. He used food for one of the most important illustrations of his life, the last meal that he shared with his disciples, and this illustration stuck. If you are a believer or not you have seen the picture and heard the story.
For one moment in all of our lives, all barriers are broken down and we are all equal, the moment of sharing a meal.
Thanks Anthony for helping me to see what is really important, not the fine china, not the wine pairing, but the not so perfect people in our lives that we share the meal with.