I had an experience with my food recently…okay it was about a two months ago, but it’s something I still can’t get out of my head. Let me back up a minute and give you some more context before jumping in as you’ve already been in my head talking to me.
I was celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah with family in Santa Fe, NM, and I had the delight of having my brother, Chef Joey, cook the evening meal to kick off the holiday. For those of you that don’t know this, the Jewish Calendar is based on the Lunar calendar meaning that the Jewish holidays start at sundown. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is part of the “High Holidays” think Super Bowl or Playoffs and you are in the ballpark.
Ok…back to this latest food adventure. I was sitting down to dinner after amassing my plate with all of this delicious and yummy food surrounded by good company and family. I am terrible at this! I need to back up once again. LOL (Insert face palm emoji).
I love food, truly! And I don’t say that lightly. There are times and days where I’m literally thinking about what my next meal is while I’m still eating my current meal. I’ve also been known to talk to my brother and other family members on vacation about where we are going to go for our next meal. I’ve gotten sad about ordering the wrong food. I’ve literally had food envy when I can’t eat something, and there are moments where I am at the grocery store, and I want to take home all of the veggies with me, at which point, I have to tell myself that I have to wait until next time or next week to buy something. I should also mention that my longest relationship has been with food. It has been nothing if not turbulent. It has been filled with some highs (like this amazing meal – I’ll come back to that in a moment) and some really low lows (I’ll leave this for another time).
Now, I think you have a better understanding of my relationship with food and how it can transport me and transform into something more than just food. I’m sitting down to eat dinner, not thinking this meal will be anything special other than a greatly prepared meal by my brother, and BAM! am I hit with the feels. I take a bite of this three basiled chicken (yes – I just used basil as a verb) and I’m thinking this is some sensual chicken! HOT DIGGITY DOG! I look around and everyone else seems to be acting normal. I think my chicken just caressed me, caressed my arm and face – is anyone else seeing or feeling this? Hmmm…this must just be me.
Later, I started to eat a piece of raisin challah bread. (It’s traditional to have a challah with raisins to help symbolize a sweet new year which is similar to us dipping apples with honey, I mean who doesn’t want to have a sweet new year! The Spanish wear red underwear on New Year’s to fall in love that year, to each their own.) Back to this slice of raisin challah bread, which I had already added with butter, and I think I might have actually moaned out loud. It got a little hazy at this point as I had such a connection with the meal. Every bite I took of the challah made me feel like a very robust person was giving me a hug filled with motherly love. I actually think that mother nature or some ancestral magic was communing with me through the challah, or it could have been the Michelin man, I’m not sure why, but that was what was coming up for me every time I ate the amazing goodness that was this challah with butter. You have to have the butter at least for me to achieve this effect. The butter was key!
Accompanying this meal was some very silky Spanish Rioja (I have a funny story about Rioja, that I’ll save for you at a later date). Each sip was like touching silk, like being wrapped in a silk scarf.
To round out this very succulent meal my brother handmade his legendary cobbler. During a portion of my brother’s formal career in the kitchen, he worked in “pastry”; there he learned how to make the perfect cobbler. Here’s what you need to know about cobbler, it is simple, but it has to have the right proportion of the fruit, and the topping/crust. If either of these two is out of whack it is no bueno. And no one likes a soggy crust/topping. Also, my brother doesn’t just pull out his cobbler recipe all the time, it’s sacred! I asked for a little bit of cobbler, well because that’s just me, and next thing I know I’m going back for more. One bite was not enough. I’m eating this peach cobbler (peach and mixed berry is my fav!) and I think this cobbler just made love to me. Am I still on planet earth? Am I still awake? Did my food, more specifically my dessert turn into a person? If so, I think I’ve found love.
So, the next time you take a bite of food, watch out, your next bite of food could be taking you on a magic carpet ride of an adventure that is filled with complete rapture, and who would want to miss out on that!