We were out for dinner with friends a few years back, and the conversation turned to the best meals we've ever had. The rest of the evening was spent sharing these treasured memories (seems I'm not the only one who keeps a running list in her head!).
What I loved about this conversation is that, while some of the meals were about expensive dinners in fancy restaurants (Our Susur Lee-cooked dinner is in the top five on my list), many of them were much more about time and place and the people we were with.
One friend described the bowl of greek yogurt she had just before watching the sun come up over the Acropolis. It was a simple meal, in a beautiful location, with the one she loves.
One meal whose memory can still make me go weak at the knees is the dinner my sister's in-laws cooked the day my sister and her family moved into their current house.
At the time, Chris and John had three small children, so packing and organizing for a move was nearly impossible. It wasn't till the two oldest were sent home with Nana and Granddad that the real work could begin. We stayed up very late the night before moving day and worked very hard on the day itself.
John's parents looked after the baby and offered to cook dinner for us. So at the end of this very long day, we showed up at their house, tired and probably smelly, to be treated with cups of tea and the most wonderful smell coming from the kitchen.
It was a simple casserole. Ground beef, tomato sauce and noodles. But it was cooked with love, served without expectation of thrilling conversation and just exactly what I needed at that moment. Plus, the baby was just starting to stand and spent the meal hanging onto a chair and grinning at everybody. Perfect.
I would love to hear your "best meal" stories. Either of the fancy dinner in a fancy restaurant variety, or the more humble sort that can still make you smile years down the road.
You can post by clicking "comments", or, if you prefer, email me.
Let's see what kind of memories are out there.