I have eaten in restaurants around the world; often with a bent towards the ones with the Michelin stars. I can think of great meals and even better deserts however, they all pale to comfort food at home. There is something special in being around family and friends, sharing a meal.
Why is it that mashed potatoes, homemade gluten, simple vegetables, and a tossed salad ranks above the best restaurants in Sydney, Tokyo, and London? Even when I think of the incredible, complex, and stunning desserts, I find myself longing to sit around the table with friends? Somehow the best the world has to offer seems second rate when compared to friends around the table.
Solomon knew the heart of the question. “Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate.” (Proverbs 15.17)
My favorite meal of all time is a super bowl party in New York. Friends getting together, cooking a bit of food, that somehow became better than anything the world had to offer. The second meal of my life included some pancakes that came from an unlimited source of love; we rolled, cut, and ate till our bodies could handle no more! The third meal of all time is the combination of family and friends, sharing life and good times, discovering that the heart of food is more than the ingredients. Thanksgiving in Corvallis, meals around the kitchen table in Portland, legendary strawberry shortcake in San Francisco (it was the whole meal!).
The key lies in those who share life and the journey with you. Even when I think of restaurants, I think of those who were with me; Indian food in Norway, Sri Lankan food in Milan, Japanese cuisine in Frankfurt, and Chinese food in India. Each experience made different because of what the people shared around the table.
We are in life together. The highs, joys, and best things in life always come with someone else involved. The best of the best include two others; a fellow traveler and God himself. That’s comfort.