A simple recipe, one with only two ingredients, served a dual purpose for me last night.
It was my menu, and my own personal challenge.
Yesterday marked 7 years since my mom passed. I felt it, I do every year. Mostly it was in the sense of feeling a bit anxious or frazzled–no outbursts of emotion. What was different though, what stayed with me–is that it is the first anniversary that my MeMe hasn’t been here. In years past I would typically call her or drive to see her, knowing her laugh, her stories, and her food would envelop me in a warm sense of comfort that could melt stress as if it were butter in a hot pan.
But what would I do this year? IF there were a storm of emotion, where would I find shelter? What, or who would be my refuge? I had no idea if I would be upset–but I wanted to be prepared.
I made an unorthodox decision. I decided on that day–I would make Chicken Noodles. The recipe tied all three (my MeMe, my momma and I) together. MeMe taught me how to make it. My mom and I believe(d) it’s the most comforting food in the world. The caveat? I hadn’t made it since MeMe died. While I’ve made it dozens of times, I was afraid of the emotional rush that could hit me, and I was afraid a food I cherished, would be tarnished. Why would I do this? Granted on one hand it was potentially setting myself up emotionally to wreck myself–but I also knew that once it was done….it would be done. As bad as the day COULD be, the next–it would be past me. Once I got the idea in my mind, the decision was made.
While this was something I knew I Had to do, I also knew being alone wouldn’t be wise. Plus cooking for others, rather than just cooking for the act would aid in the cathartic process. It would provide focus once all dishes were in the sink.
Luckily I have a group of people who I know don’t mind if I strip away any show, sass or flair, and all that’s left is a raw/real place. They accept, and love. They let me take over their kitchen. They let me prattle on for hours about menial things, or sit in silence and sense how I feel. On days like Monday, or any other for that matter.
I once received this StoryPeople card. I love it, and it fits this scenario beautifully.
There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good.