Any meal is best when it’s shared, so my most memorable meals are the ones where the company and the surroundings contributed to the experience. A few stand out.
There was the chicken and dumplings I made several years ago and shared with my mother and my sister Sheila. It was one of our last meals together, and one of the last meals my Mom truly enjoyed, before medication and pain took her appetite away. Before the month was out, both Mom and Sheila had passed away (no fault of the food!).
The hamburger, from the Dairy Queen, that I purchased with my own money when I was twelve years old was memorable. It had a steamed bun, and was doctored with mustard, pickle and onion because I had just decided that was the only way to dress a burger. I then walked down to the park, accompanied by my best friend, Linda, and we ate our lunches looking down into the Flint River.
Last summer my daughter, her husband, and two of my grandchildren were my dinner companions at a lovely old Italian restaurant near the theater where we would later see Hamilton. From appetizers through dessert, it was a wonderful meal.
I loved the booth tucked in with high-backed seats that gave us the feeling of privacy in a very crowded restaurant. We enjoyed the friendly bow-tied waiters, and the owners who hovered, and peeked in, to make sure everything was going as it should.
Everything sounded wonderful, so we each chose something different. We then passed forkfuls from one plate to the next, saying, “Oh my God, you have to taste this!” I specifically remember cannoli, the crust perfectly crisp, the filling not too sweet. Beyond that, I can’t remember exactly what I ordered, or what many delicious things I tasted. I just know that I loved it all.