As a vegetarian, some descriptions are a bit too graphic and detailed, but I loved going to a place through someone else's words, to witness the circumstances and people that made the food experience possible. Even the titles are enticing: "The Ways of Tea" and "Italy in Seventeen Courses" and "Chai, Chillum, and Chapati."
Though I loved reading about the unique foods around the world, I loved more that the writers focused on the situation, those who made the meals, those who surrounded them as they ate. Yesterday my godmother brought me a quart of the maple syrup she and my uncle made just weeks ago. I love just looking at the jar, looking through the amber-colored syrup. When we eat it on our waffles or pancakes, I will savor it more, knowing someone I love gathered and boiled gallons of sap!
In the introduction, George writes: "We feast on the love behind and within the offering, love for a moment, a lesson, a gift, for companions and connections, that will never be repeated and can never be replaced." Along with my mom, my aunts, and close family friends, we cooked, served, ate, and did dishes together yesterday. There were many things I appreciated on the table: a fabulous quinoa salad, the butterhorn rolls we all love, my aunt's apple kuchen. But most of all, I loved being with the people I love. That never-to-be-repeated meal and circumstance rests in my heart today.