“The happiest moments of my life…

… have been the few which I have past at home in the bosom of my family.” –Thomas Jefferson

Figuring out why I love our weekly Food with Friends events… It’s not just about community. I love that, I need that. But the need for community could have taken a different form. Why food? Why feeding people?

In my family, we celebrate each other with food. If we’re too broke to buy gifts, we bake. As a thank you, we cook. And as a celebration of a holiday, we have massive feasts and days (weeks, around Christmas) of baking. It’s a way of expressing affection in a family that does not know how to verbally say, “I love you.” It’s a gesture that provides for one’s physical well-being and, hopefully, inspires confidences and discussions over the skeletal remains of the meal.

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This need to feed people became ingrained in me. It was the way that I made friends in undergrad. Artisan bread and cheese parties in the dorm hallway? Yes, please. When it comes to romance, cooking together is a pivotal moment in a new relationship — it’s an intimate moment of creation and sharing, despite the (maybe because of) the fumbles and mishaps.

And the recipes that I make that are handed down to me from my mother, recipes of dishes that have fed my family for years…like the borscht that I made this last Sunday. These recipes are the ultimate comfort food, delicious and recalling a time in the past when this dish was shared at the family table. I love being able to make these dishes for our community — especially when they turn out delicious! — and being able to continue the tradition of sharing love and inspiration over food. 🙂

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