#reverb10 – Soul Food

December 26 – Soul Food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

Since I read this prompt yesterday it’s like I’ve been stuck staring at a wall, actually I was thrown head first into the wall, left too dizzy to get up and find a way around it. The wall? During this reverb10 I’ve run into two main blocks… that I don’t have the memories, or photos, or whatever to pull on, or memories of Chris makes a prompt too painful.

So this prompt comes along and I run into one of the two blocks… again. I have no memories this year where food touched my soul. There are foods I’ve eaten, meals I’ve enjoyed this year that I will always remember, but they didn’t touch my soul. Even Christmas dinner just a few days ago, great food, fairly traditionally Finnish with some non-Finnish additions over the years. Can’t have Christmas dinner without Pavlova now. It’s summer, forget the steamed puddings and other hot stuffs… Pavlova is great in summer. But, the meal doesn’t touch my soul. All the angst surrounding this time of year means Christmas dinner is always left as… just a meal.

Said it. Now I should end the post and look at the next one? NO!! Not this time!!

It’s not the meal alone that makes it special, or soul touching. It’s the event, the people, the whole situation. Now, since I’m really damn tired of finding new ways to say “nadda” and don’t want to leave myself with yet another prompt that highlights to me the shortcomings in my current life… I’m going to remember some of those soul touching food time thingies *nods head* and I don’t care how long ago they were *sticks tongue out* I’m taking something good with me from this prompt into 2011, even if I have to drag it from the distant past. Today I need to remember some of those good times.

Kind of tough to do, but I’ll limit it to 10. So here we go, a way around the wall I hit, 10 times in the past that food entered my mouth and became Soul Food.

Age around 11… one of my friends from school invited me to stay the weekend at her house. T’s parents were hippies, totally lost in the 70s. I have no other way to describe them from my memories. We sat around the dinner table and joked and laughed and the only way I can describe it is… loved. It was my first time I had ever sat at a dinner table with people who were genuinely happy and genuinely loved each other. I remember every bite, but I don’t remember what we ate. It was Soul Food.

Age 17 or 18… my boyfriend’s sister and I decided we were going to be Mistresses of the Kitchen. One particular Mistress Weekend we decided to master choux pastry. Ahhh, what a mess we made, but at the end of the day a dozen or so perfect, at least perfect in our eyes, Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs sat on the kitchen bench waiting for the big taste test. We were ready to oblige… we sat down at the kitchen table and in tandem we each carefully brought a Cream Puff to our mouths. Our first home-made Cream Puff… heaven. Yes, heaven. Soul Food.

Age 17 or 18… my boyfriend’s birthday dinner, home-made. Now, you’d think Mistress Mari of the Kitchen, Cream Puff and Chocolate Eclair extraordinaire would whip up something pretty special? *giggle* Yeah, right! My staple dishes were Spaghetti Bolognaise and Wiener Schnitzel, both from scratch. This particular special evening I went for the Schnitzel. Imagine the look on R’s face when I brought out a plate with the biggest Schnitzel he’d ever seen… I could pound those suckers out pretty well… and not a single vegetable to accompany it. Seems Mistress Mari of the Kitchen had no idea how to cook vegetables *blush* Soul Food.

Age 17 or 18… Mistress Mari of the Kitchen had extended her staple dishes to include Beef Stroganoff. One weekend we were babysitting the 3 yo son of some friends. I went for the Stroganoff. We sat at the table and both R and I waited for our young guests reaction to his first ever Stroganoff. Young Master tasted, chewed, swallowed, looked up at me, brought his fingers to his mouth in an exagerated kissing motion and stated unequivocally… “Excellent”. Soul Food.

Age 18 or 19… Picnic in bed. Enough said. Soul Food.

Age 21… New man in my life. Dinner on the stove forgotten. Enough said. We salvaged what we could and ate it anyway… giggling at our mischief. Soul Food.

Age 22… MMMmmm. That first hospital porridge the morning after my son was born. Yes, seriously, hospital porridge. I thought I’d never tasted anything more delicious in my life. Well, it had been a big night. It wasn’t so good the next morning, actually it was pretty awful. But that first bowl has stayed with me for over 18 years. Soul Food.

Hmm, here started a long period of self-imposed isolation, but even so I have soul food memories.

Mid to late 20s and beyond… breakfast with friend N. There’s something about bacon and eggs in the country on a cold winter morning. Oh and her lamb roast? To die for. Soul Food.

Around age 30… young son decides to make me pancakes for breakfast. He brought them to my bed with coffee. It wasn’t even Mother’s Day! We ate them together in bed. The pancakes were great. I only sipped at the coffee. It would be years before V could make a drinkable cup of coffee. Soul Food.

Age 36… friend D’s 40th birthday. It was held at a Chinese restaurant in Canberra. A number of guests that were travelling from interstate, myself included, were kept secret from him. He loved the surprise as each ‘Surprise Guest’ arrived at the restaurant. It was the first time I had Honey Beef, which this restaurant makes to perfection. Perfect food, perfect company, perfect occasion. Soul Food.

Age 37… friend N’s 40th birthday. Held at her home in country Victoria. I’m not sure, but I think it was the year I made Schnitzels for her birthday… yes, there were vegetables this time *giggles* I do remember the Chocolate Mud Cake I’d scoured the country town to find for her. Soul Food.

Around age 39… my nephews came to spend the Easter holidays with us. Most days we went to the beach and often we’d get something to eat before or after. One day we picked up some fish and chips before and sat at a picnic table by the side of the creek, my son, my nephews and myself and talked and laughed and dare I say it… loved. The food was good, the meal was fantastic. Soul Food.

Okay, a little trouble counting… that was 12. Always, it was the people and the event combined with the food that touched my soul, that turned a meal into Soul Food *smiles* I’ll take this with me into 2011, thank you very much.

{Future tool: Sark’s MicroMOVEment Support Sheets. For the next 6 days as you round out your year, we’ll share one tool each day to help you plan your year ahead.}


3 thoughts on “#reverb10 – Soul Food

  1. Mari- this is a great post. I particularly like how you describe the meal postpartum: “That first hospital porridge the morning after my son was born.” So beautiful!

  2. Pingback: Really bloody happy! « Randomly Mari

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