Thought for Food
Food as life: You are what you eat.
Food as death: Those double bacon cheeseburgers’ll kill ya.
Food as reward: I ran five miles today. I deserve that sundae, damn it!
Food as entertainment: I’m bored. I wonder if anything interesting is going on in the refrigerator.
Food as art: I have had meals that were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Food as enemy: Oh, chocolate chip cookies, why do you look even more appealing when I want to lose a few pounds? Evil bastards!
Food as anxiety: I have three lasagnas for ten people. Do you think that’s enough? Maybe I should get some more bread.
Food as condolence: The refrigerator of a grieving family is seldom empty as people offer their sympathies with casseroles and salads.
Food as memory: I can still hear the sound of the old-fashioned crank coffee grinder that my dad used to grind wheat for Sunday morning pancakes.
Food as belief: Stale cracker or body of Christ? The answer is in the mouth of the beholder.
Food as incentive: No dessert for you unless you finish your brussel sprouts!
Food as love: I cut a piece of homemade banana bread for my husband and bring it to him at his desk while it’s still warm. In turn, when there are only a couple of pieces remaining, he takes the end and leaves me a middle piece because he knows I like those better.
Food as artillery: Food fight!
Food as commiseration: Girlfriends bonding over a pan of “men are pigs” brownies.
Food as change: Summer salads make way for hearty stews as the leaves on the trees change color.
Food as apology: I’m sorry my dog dug up your prize azaleas… I made muffins!
Food as anathema: It was called salmon loaf, and the thought of it still makes me shudder. Unless starvation is otherwise imminent, only cats should be served fish that has been canned and then pressed into a mold.
Food as sedative: Post-Thanksgiving dinner nap, anyone?
Food as celebration: Happy birthday to me! And to you! And to everyone! Let’s have cake!
© 2011 Elizabeth Barton
Originally published in the Journal of Ordinary Thought, Winter 2011