Today I thought I would talk about friends and food and how empty my life would be without both. I like to think that friends and food add texture to a person’s life. Without friends one might live inside their head and become way too self-indulged or wander aimlessly through life without anyone to steady them when they flounder.
When with a friend who is gentle and calm there is an aura of safety and security that envelops the space. This is the friend you can always count on to calm you down or illuminate just how good your life really is. Certain foods can create that feeling as well, like last night’s butterscotch pudding or a dreamy crème anglais.
Then there are those friends that you love but may be ‘course’ or’ rough around the edges.’ You know, they tell a story and decorate it with a few choice words, a bit of slang and throw in some exaggeration for good measure. Not always the person you think of first to invite to your gourmet dinner club but essential to your life just the same. These friends create entertainment, shock, horror and humor wherever they go. I can liken these friends to food that is crunchy and fun, like Peanut Brittle or Caramel Corn. These foods are salacious but regrettable once the sugar hangover sets in.
At this time of year I notice bounty all around me. The vegetable gardens and orchards are teaming with squash, pumpkins, apples and pears. The chickens and turkeys are butchered and ready for roasting and the pantry is stocked with honey, molasses, sugar, flour, butter and eggs. This weekend, Canadian Thanksgiving is the perfect time for me to cozy up and get cooking.
We intend have a bonfire to burn the brush pile that has built up from the branch cleanup over the past year. We will roast a few hotdogs, sip some mulled wine and indulge in Caramel Apples. After a leisurely afternoon wandering the forest paths and playing along the ocean shoreline we will settle down to a table of thanksgiving.
We will dine on turkey grown on a friend’s farm, vegetables from the garden and local farm market, dessert lovingly prepared by my Mom, (that famous pastry again for our pumpkin pie) and a cup of tea brewed from leaves bought at my friends’ tea shop. The table will be brimming with a variety of dishes and the chairs filled with family and friends gathered together to share in the abundance. Although none of my siblings and only one of my children will be with us, we will nevertheless pause to acknowledge how thankful we are to have wealth in family, friendships and food.
A special toast goes to my brother Bill, the storyteller and cowboy extraordinaire. He is sadly missed.
To Regan, my oldest daughter whose sense of humor and contagious smile will be shared with her beau and good friends way up in Prince George this Thanksgiving. I look forward to being with her next month.
And finally, to my son Guy whose quiet presence and quick wit I look forward to next week when I go to visit him in Michigan. We will have our Thanksgiving and share it with his roommates who are far from home just as he is.