Thursday, July 9, 2009

Greet, Then Eat

Ron and I recently hosted a fabulous post-July 4 cookout. We had about a dozen men over from many different parts of our lives. It was more like Boys in the Basement, not Boys in the Band. I had not seen one of the guests for many years, and it was nice to see him and his boyfriend. Several other guys brought their boyfriends/significant others, too.

Somehow, food and friends make a wonderful combination. It's no accident that religious rituals often feature food in the middle of a community of believers. Eating spareribs can be a sacramental act when done in the company of friends. The stories, the friendship, and the food has the ability to create transcendent moments when we see the ones we love in new ways. Sharing sustenance (and in this case abundance) and history is a spiritual act. And the spareribs were very spicy.

Potlucks inspire me. I like the food especially for what it says about the person who brought it. Conscious kitchen decisions, or maybe impulse buying at the supermarket mark each contribution. Some dishes reflect loving preparation, and others a reckless, daring moment in the snack aisle. Each dish says something mysterious about the cook, and that sometimes plays out in the conversation that follows.

I was in a barbecue mood, so I fixed smoked spareribs and a chicken. I like the spices and the sauces that go along with it. The preparation is part of the joy, and the consumption is that joy's consummation. It's a gift given for my friends, although the pig and the chicken gave a lot more than I did.


Geek Tenor said...

I brought fruit salad, so I guess that doesn't say anything NEW about me, does it?

Happy said...

Maybe that you like to get eaten?