Monday, January 17, 2011

Food and Friends…the Best Memories

I believe the best memories are created by a combination of good food and good people. Isn't it annoying sometimes that we have to eat 3 times a day? However, I think one of the reasons God gave us bodies that use up our food so fast is so that we can enjoy it more. What if you only needed to eat once a month like a python? You could only get together for a meal once a month! It would certainly be quite a feast, but you couldn't very often.

Eating a meal together creates a unique bond between people. In the Bible they are always inviting people in to eat with them. Abraham when he sees the 3 angels invites them into eat with him. That was a sign of hospitality. Our family loves to have people over and share food together. We are a family full of people that love to cook delicious meals. All of the older kids are very proficient cooks (as well as Mom and Dad), and the younger kids are learning to love it also. Because our family is dominated by men the kitchen is also dominated by men.

This is why Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is when all the Englishes (my Dad's side of the family) get together. We have a huge delicious feast and everyone that wants to gets to be a part of the preparation. Uncle Bill might be in charge of the turkey and gravy, Grandma might make an apple pie or sweat potato casserole, Mama might make pumpkin pie, I might make some rolls, Zachariah might have his hand in everything and make something fancy on the side, or maybe try some new combination that no one thought of, Josiah might make some more pumpkin pies (because you can never have enough), Papa might be in charge of the stuffing, Aunt Jenn might make the mashed potatoes, etc. You get the idea. Eating together every year like this brings a great bond between us. Not only do we have the opportunity to work together to create something delicious and beautiful, but we then get to sit down together and enjoy eating and talking together. Something about that sharing time together brings us utter happiness and bliss.

Thanksgiving is what all the kids look forward to every year, but it wouldn't be this way if we didn't have both ingredients. We have to have both the people and the food. If we just had the food it wouldn't be nearly as fun. Things are always better when you have more people to share them with. If we had just the people we could have some fun, but we wouldn't have a reason to all sit down together doing something in common. We would find something to do, but without the food we don't really even have an excuse to get together.

Perhaps that's the main reason why eating is such a bonding experience. As humans we are drawn to people only through common interests or common needs. We all have the most basic need of food so when we can all sit down together and share a meal we grow much closer together.

This is part of what sets our family apart from so many typical American families. So many of them have kids running every which way and they rarely even have supper together. We have always had supper together and sometimes several more meals than that.

The older I get the more I realize how much food and friends really do make the experience memorable to me. I went on a 3 week trip out West and it was an absolute blast (the most fun I've ever had in my life), but it wasn't because of what I saw—although it was pretty cool—it was because of who I was enjoying it with and what I was eating with them.

Food used to seem like a waste to me, you eat it once and then it's gone. However, as I look back on my memories the best ones always involve good food and good people.

What other reason do you have to sit beside your friends around a table for a couple hours? Okay, right, games do that. But you don't always have a good excuse to play a game several times a day. Eating a meal is something you have to do 2 or 3 times a day to keep up normal strength and when you share it with others it is amazing.

Food has historically been a primary ingredient of celebration. It's kind of mystery what exactly makes it so fun, but I know that it makes good times all the better.

Okay, so I've given a lot of examples of good experiences revolving around food and friends, but I've left out the most important example. Can you guess it? It's in the Bible, in the last book. Yup. That's right. The Wedding Feast of the Lamb! What's the most memorable part of a wedding here? The reception right? The same is true for the ultimate wedding. The best part will be when we all get to go to the biggest wedding reception ever! Can you imagine what kind of a celebration that will be? If the wine at Cana was the best they had ever tasted can you imagine the kind of wine Jesus will have at his wedding feast?! All I can say is that I can't wait!

So next time you want to have a really good time, make sure it involves lots of good food and people. Don't be afraid to spend money or time on food because memories last forever…toys or gadgets don't. Just sayin' ~


  1. good thoughts, all of them. But I still want to go on a week long fast. Just sayin' ~
    Londs :)

  2. My point is that's part of the reason fasting (or a special diet) is so hard. It tends to alienate you from others—more or less. Not necessarily intentionally, but even if I do sit down at the table with everyone else I feel slightly alienated because I can't participate in what their doing. Sort of like watching a game you know how to play and love to play, but can't because they started without you.