Cheers to Friends and Food

This is an ode to friends and food.

Cheers to the friends who love to cook, find joy in creating, and relish in the fragrance that fills the kitchen with as much fervor as I do.

To friends who keel over in laughter when an extra tablespoon of sugar or butter is tossed into the pan. Given our shared immense love of sweets, creaminess, and distinct flavors, it’s like getting away with what mama told us not to do. To those whose eyes light up when they see me holding an ice cream cone, ask where I got it from, and make a b-line for the shop after I point them in the right direction. Such childlike excitement is a reminder to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

To friends who dream of one day having a big kitchen to teach cooking classes or simply to host dinner parties with each chair filled with someone they love and the air full of laughter and conversation. To those who stick around long after the meal is finished for dessert, late night chats, and to help clean up. To those who always express their gratitude for the delicious meal and offer dinner next weekend at their place.

To friends who consider their kitchen a sanctuary where they can turn to relieve stress by taking on a new recipe or making their favorite comfort foods. To those who, when I confess I’ve had a bad day or week, will make me a home-cooked meal or say let’s go out to eat and drown our sorrows in carbs and meat.

To friends who may be health conscious on their own time but are willing to break their regular diet with the right company and atmosphere. To those who sit beside me and raise their glasses to surviving another day, in celebration of life just because, or for no special reason at all.

To friends who melt at the sight of food photos in magazines and unabashedly take photos of their own food creations. To friends I can rely on for recipe recommendations or call upon to try a new food or restaurant in town.

I hope I am and can be a friend like this to you too.

Beef Tagalog

To friends who understand that food is more than just a to-do. Food is nourishment, it is art, it is a magnet for bringing people together and developing community, it is a way to say I love you and I’m here for you when the words won’t come, and it is a gift passed on from all those who had a hand in making it.

To all those who come from down the street and far flung places just to share a meal, and to those who don’t just eat to live but live to eat. Cheers to cooking, creating, and sharing a meal together. Cheers to friends like you.

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