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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Edible Turning Point

Life and all of its turning points quite often involve food in some manner.  In many ways, it is merely in celebration of a milestone and in others as a way to say what words cannot.  We see food as a means to mark these mileposts, but more and more, I see the food itself representing the people themselves and helping to tell their story.  Some recent examples I've experienced...

My coworker Bari and his longtime love Carlene recently tied the knot and oh, did their wedding cake speak to them: literally half of it featured a more traditional bridal theme, and the other.....well...Holy Hero Cake, Batman!  As far as I'm concerned, this cake is just pure awesomeness.


Another coworker Ethan and his wife Megan recently sent out invites to us for a "gender reveal" party.  I don't why, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around this.  I had never heard of one, but it was at their church, so it obviously wasn't a Crying Game plot twist, right?  Finally, my poor, addled, weary brain caught up with the fact that they were having a baby and a gender reveal party is the new way all the cool kids share the discovery of the sex of their child with their loved ones. Leave it to me to distort a beautiful thing because of my own twisted mindset.  Ethan and Megan didn't go with the usual cake for this, and instead turned to their beloved Jones Sodas.


 They had served Jones sodas at their wedding reception and thought this an apropo way to do the reveal.  Their friend Carlene (she of the half-Batman cake) would have a bottle of pink soda (Fufu Berry Soda) and a bottle of blue soda (Berry Lemonade Soda) but the labels were covered.  Carlene handed them one of the bottles and they lifted the label to discover...


                         It's a boy!  Maximus is on his way...

Finally, food has become is a prominent part in the mourning process as well.  I've written many times about funeral food; about the tradition of bringing food to the grieving person's home and how its often merely a means to offer comfort and condolence when words fail to do the job.  Sometimes though, food helps tell the story of the one who passed.  We attended a service for our friend Wendy's son Jerad recently.  Jerad passed away from a remorseless disease at a far too young age and that fact alone made the experience gut-wrenchingly sad.  But the way this grieving family structured that service told Jerad's story in a way I've never experienced.  Jerad's artwork and self-designed T-shirts hung in the church.  Videos of images of Jerad flickered in the background. Many of his favorite songs played throughout the service.  A table featuring his favorite snack food was front and center.  By the time many of Jerad's family had spoken about so many elements of his clearly multi-faceted life (including his passion for breakfast cereal), it truly felt as if Jerad's life had been beautifully captured.  We were even encouraged to pick up a box of Jerad's beloved Rice Krispies on our way out.  I had just met Jerad once before but thanks to that amazing service, we all felt like we knew him very well when we left.



Every day, I learn more and more about the power of food as a storyteller.  In the next post, I will feature an edible milestone that blew me away...


1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your next post... Loved this one. (-:

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