I spent today cooking. All day cooking. For thirty minutes I took a break, put my feet on a couch cushion and watched the Gators lose to Georgia. Then, back at the cooking.
Justin and I had asked a friend, an ex-chef and food guy extraordinaire, to walk us through some techniques (making sauces, de-boning chicken, trussing) and, to our delight, he created an all-day cooking menu. We chopped things and sauteed things and reduced things like reality cooking show contestants.
When we finally sat down to the table to eat, his family and ours, I peered down at a beautiful filet of perch perched on a bed of orzo, drizzled with an orange burre blanc. Exquisite. Later courses included ratatouille, chicken ballantine, potato gnocchi. All divine.
As good as it was, I realized, sitting down tonight to write about the food we made, that even when the food is perfect, a meal is still only as good as the people around the table. Looking back on tonight I remember the laughing most clearly, remember it in that slow motion way, everyone so full of joy, joy in the fish and joy in the friends, each feeding the other.
Food, like laughter, is always best shared.
When I read that there will be feasting in Heaven, I’m not surprised. Eating good food with good friends feels so much like Heaven already.