Out

2 Mar

We’ve been flying past each other at school carpool for weeks, if not months, now, my two friends and I. Hurrying to grab our kids from line and get home for homework and sports practices and Scout meetings and dinners, after a full day of work and volunteer commitments. Tis the season. Post Christmas, pre-spring break. The part of the year when everybody seems to realize that June is flying at us and we need to get all this stuff done, and so we barely feel ourselves hit chairs before it’s time to race off to the next place.

One of them grabbed my arm yesterday in between the lines. “Are we still on for breakfast tomorrow?

To be honest, I’d forgotten. With all the rushing around. But I yelled “YES” over my shoulder and made a point to call the other when I got home, to firm up times and places. Synch calendars and watches.

This morning, at 9:15, we sunk into a comfortable booth with eggs and toast and coffee and sodas, and for a moment, we just breathed.

“Look at us,” one of my friends said. “Meeting for a real breakfast, in a real restaurant, like grown-ups. How cool is that?”

We ate. We laughed–so hard I felt tears. And we lingered, for two hours.

I’m not a lingerer. I have Things To Do and a Schedule To Keep. But this morning, the cell phone stayed in the purse and the watch snuggled under a sweater, and for a little while, we just stopped and enjoyed a wonderful meal and each other’s company.

That, my friends, is what I love about food. I mean, there is a zen in the stirring and mixing and chopping, and it’s beyond fun to mix up new flavors and techniques just to see what might happen. But that sitting at a table, fully immersed in a story from someone who has a firm place in your heart…that can’t be beat.

Today, three cheers for family dinners. Breakfasts with friends. Glasses of wine in somebody’s living room while the kids pretend try to sleep upstairs. Amazing dishes that satisfy our palate while our loved ones satisfy our souls.

I need to sit down and enjoy this more often. I need to linger. I hope you do too.

 

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The Washington Post has a great piece on King Cake today–it’s here. Includes a gluten-free version, which I was happy to see in a mainstream publication. Check it out, or try my version over here, which I plan to make next week.

 

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TOMORROW!! My new contest!! With a super fun prize!! Come see!!!!

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One Response to “Out”

  1. Ken Montville March 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Yep. Lot’s to be said for lingering aka “catching up”. The world moves pretty fast with things to do, places to go, people to see. It’s nice when you get a chance to just sit down and have some fun, food and conversation without constantly checking the time to make sure you’re not late for the next important thing.

    Friends are important. Taking time to connect is important. Taking a break is important. We’ll all be taking the Really Big Break soon enough.

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