Food isn’t just about the food. It’s the context of eating. Whether it’s a cup of coffee, some bread and butter, or a six-course meal. Our defenses our down. We’re open and our senses are working overtime. Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. If you want someone to remember, feed them. You’ll create a memory. And if you believe in the sixth sense, well that’s probably fired up too.
The word “companion” is derived from Latin and means someone that you share bread with. There’s something about the act of sitting down and eating together that brings people together on a more intimate level. Remember when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, and President Bush tried to make nice by inviting her to lunch?
My mom is one of eleven children and I have a ton of cousins. All my aunts and uncles are amazing cooks as well, but when we get together, the conversation often turns to memories of my mother’s meals. I always thought everyone had chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Didn’t everyone’s mother keep yeast and flour to bake loaves of bread and rolls? She’d tell my brother and me to be quiet or the cake would fall if we made too much noise. I was always aware of the miracle of baked goods rising in the quiet of the kitchen, while I silently sneaked a spoonful of frosting. Looking back at my childhood, how could I have not ended up food blogging? I believe in homemade cooking. There is nothing like it.
Local radio was always part of my childhood as well. My brother and I were children in the early seventies, and I remember us sitting on the floor of the backseat of my father’s car playing a game called “black community.” We really didn’t understand what it meant, but we knew that the radio programs that our parents listened to were always talking about the black community. So, we would pretend to interview each other. Our interviews certainly didn’t have much depth, but we knew that radio somehow brought local community together.
As much as the world has become smaller and we can communicate with someone on the other side of the planet with a simple tweet, we have to remember who is next door, down the street, or just a few towns over. Using social media, whether it be blogging, “tweeting,” “Flickring,” or “Facebooking,” I’ve connected with people right here in the Boston area, who I probably would have never met otherwise.
Seeing WBUR take the leap from local radio station broadcasting to listeners to actively engaging with and meeting listeners has been unexpected and fun. I’ve enjoyed volunteering with the fundraising efforts of WBUR, but there was a new element added at the food blogger meet-up and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.