Greatest Meals Ever

10.15.10 § 2 Comments

I really thought that I’d have tons of time this week to do some blogging. After all, visiting my ailing best friend Ginnie has meant lots of time is spent with her sleeping and me….screwing around on my new laptop not doing anything productive. Of course. Honestly though, I’ve been so emotionally and physically drained all week that I haven’t written a single post. True, I did start a post (about meatloaf), but I’ve only written one paragraph. My brain doesn’t seem to be working.

One thing I have had time to do (finally) is read the October issue of SAVEUR cover to cover. I’d read bits and pieces (that happens when you work in a magazine’s office), and I’d heard all of the praise this issue received (it’s been blowing up on Twitter), but I hadn’t had a chance to just sit down and soak it in. If you haven’t had a chance to do so, I suggest you go buy a copy immediately and curl up in some cozy corner with either a cup of tea or a glass of wine, because it’s a treasure.

The theme of the issue is the 25 Greatest Meals Ever, and the issue is filled with beautiful, short essays about the memory of each author’s best meal (or meals, in some cases). My favorites (in case you are sitting there, issue in hand, wondering what you should read first) were Suketu Mehta’s Fire in the Belly, Richard Rodriguez’s Our Daily Bread, Rita Mae Brown’s Going to the Dogs, and Dean Koontz’s Lunch Lessons.

All this talk about great meals and great memories got me thinking, “What would I write about if asked to discuss my best meal ever?” I’ve had some really amazing meals in my life, but as I pondered this question, I kept coming back to the same one.

Ginnie is a year older than me and she also graduated from high school a semester early. This meant that during the second semester of my junior year, she was living at home and taking classes at a local university. The arrangement worked out perfectly for me, because her free time often coordinated with my lunch period, so seeing her and eating her delicious food became a ritual and my favorite part of the week.

One day I showed up for lunch at her house to find a plate of warm waffles next to a bowl of freshly cut strawberries, Ginnie was nowhere to be seen. When I called out, she yelled from the kitchen where she had just finished making a bowl of fresh whipped cream. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time I’ve had homemade whipped cream, but it was the first time I remember realizing how whipped cream is made. That sounds pretty funny I know, especially considering that the way you make it (whipping some cream) is pretty evident from its name. But in my eyes, Ginnie was a culinary goddess. Not only had she made us whipped cream from scratch, she had had the lovely idea of feeding me breakfast for lunch. It was such an unexpected and simple treat. Maybe that is why it has stuck with me. She took an ordinary day, and by doing something simple and unexpected, made it special.

Okay, enough of my rambling. Go buy the magazine. Read and reread it. And if you’re feeling generous, share your greatest meal in the comments.


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§ 2 Responses to Greatest Meals Ever

  • Gin says:

    Aww, I’m flattered to be in your best meal (and by that culinary goddess bit). I’m so glad your passion for food has grown to surpass mine. And I’ll never forget that first cookbook you gave me.

  • Jasmine says:

    I can count myself very lucky. I’ve had so many truly amazing meals in my life;

    The first meal I ate at my family’s pub when it opened a year ago.

    The won ton soup I made from scratch with the french family that I lived with on my first student exchange.

    The various appetizers I ate with two of my greatest high school friends when we sat on my cottage floor and cried for hours.

    The mango salad I ate on a visit with one of my favourite aunts…

    In most of these memories the food was great, but the part that made those meals so memorable was not the food itself but the people I enjoyed it with, and the work someone (sometimes I) put into making food for people they love.

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