By the end of the meal, all three of us were wholly satisfied. We had shared glasses, sampled each other's drinks, and used each other's forks and spoons. Sharing silverware. Sharing laughs.
One year later, and on the other side of the continent, the same two friends and I were squeezed into a booth at Beth's, a 24-hour cafe in Seattle. The cafe was known for its omelets, and was declared the city's "Best Place to Cure a Hangover." And it was also known, of course, for its plethora of scribbles and sketches that wallpapered the interior. Layers and layers of drawings and proclamations, some with pencil, some with crayon, some with ketchup.
Food, I’ve learned, isn’t just a nourishment for the body. It provides an opportunity for togetherness, for communion. Eating a good meal with family or friends—a meal that you want to savor, that you want to last forever—is rarely without conversation. At the very least, you’re lost in the quality of what’s on your plate, and will eagerly offer descriptions to your fellow diners. You’ll fawn over the buttery sauce that coats your mussels. You’ll encourage someone to try the baby octopus, to savor the texture. You’ll push that rich chocolate cake across the table and ask people to please, please take a bite. And you’ll relish the nights you spend eating on outdoor patios, where you can proclaim a toast for excellent food, good company, and a get-together that lasts until the early hours of morning.
Follow Dawn on her blog: Candidly Clyde
and on twitter: @d_marieolsen