Monday, July 20, 2009

Love of Food, Food of Love

Life is unfair! Why is eating so pleasurable and satisfying? Why is losing weight so torturous, lonely, and depressing? It is easy to intake calories with sweet or savory tidbits. It is difficult to ignore commercials displaying pictures of pizzas, fried chicken, and burgers dripping with fat when trying not to eat. It is so unfair.

In Hawaii, food is often the expression of love. A mother cooking for her family enjoys watching her kids eat with gusto as they laugh, talk, tease each other around the dining room table. Food is the expression of her love. It doesn't matter if it took a couple of hours to prepare the food that might be demolished in 40 minutes. It is the social interaction that is part of the eating of the food.

In celebrating my 60th birthday, I asked my kids if they would help me to put on a party to gather friends and family. They agreed so we proceeded. Our park reservation form listed about 40 people attending. Our RSVP list had about a hundred people. Over 100 people showed up and that does not include the 20 or so people who said they were coming and didn't show up. Needless to say, we had a packed house. We did all the food ourselves. Grilled steaks with garlic and lemon, pineapple teriyaki chicken, bean penne casserole for the vegetarians, bean salads, deviled egg salad, sweet potato salad, smoked octopus, rice. Our appetizers included a kimchee medley - tofu, cabbage, seaweed, and cucumber kim chee plates, seared blackened fish, ono cerviche, warabi salad, guacamole and chips. My kids worked hard to grill the steaks. People we hadn't seen in years came and talked to new friends. A loner came and found friendly smiles and listening ears for the evening. We ended the meal with cake, a homemade carrot cake, and platters of gourmet cookies. Wow. Love was flowing. From the hands that made the food, the people who brought the food, the people who ate the food with great appreciation...

For all the enjoyment, we pay the price of having to lose the weight for the eating of the poi. But life is short. Enjoy, enjoy.

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