It’s all around us. A fraternity buddy (yes, I will be inducted into that fraternity by the time I’m 80) died last week. A high school friend’s mom died this week and it reminds me of losing my mother three years ago.
Life is precious and what better way to celebrate it than food. I think I was always drawn to food to make people happy and enjoy life. Even death is celebrated with food, and what could be a better send-off?
At my funeral, no I don’t want one, but if I did people would have an Irish wake with booze and great music, fiddlers and pipers and bagpipes, of course. Amazing Grace at the end. Cheery Irish/Scot tunes throughout.
My husband’s family would reel from it but it’s my funeral, if I had one. I’d rather get permission to have my ashes buried in my favorite Enchanted Forest with no marker, just the knowledge that I was home.
It always strikes me when high school or college friends die, as we’re at the point where normally we have children who’ve graduated, married and are having our grandchildren. We’re not supposed to have cancer and die before our parents.
My mom died three years ago, she’s still in my address book and sometimes I want to just call her to ask for a recipe. She introduced me to food, I was struck at age eight and never turned back. Our life was coming home to holiday dinners and prepping food. We talked food, prepped and cooked and finally ate food and it was different every time.
The last time she got out of the hospital, I flew in and cooked for her. She needed to gain weight and and was on an IV system plus she needed three meals a day. I made buckets of chicken stock. Bought her a V-8 (and me a Diet Coke and newspaper) every morning. Ran saline through the line before disconnecting then made her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Months later, one sister told me she said, “but Dee made the chicken stock from scratch.”
Food is life, perhaps life is food. Oh, at my non-funeral I want latkes with Nova and creme fraiche with cranberry juice, a gorgeous brisket and ribs from Uncle Bobby’s rig, Margie’s potato rolls. Sisters can make Viennese Chocolate Torte and Tri-Level Brownies, brother will have to learn Zwiebelrostbraten (onion pot roast) and breuchen (breakfast rolls) as well as finding weistwurst (veal sausage) and making rosti (pan-fried potato cake). Oh, Kevin also has to make me Lamb Robert (he calls it “Sheep Bob”), his favorite dish.
Magically lebkuchen will appear from Switzerland, along with mincemeat tarts, trifle, Scandinavian cookies, apple shortbreads and the long-lost recipe for mountain-high oatmeal raisin cookies will re-appear. And I won’t have any of it? That stinks.
I may just stay alive and make all these things! Wishing you life, love and Happy Thanksgiving! Dee