December 8th, 2009

storyteller doll

Feasts

Today's Holidailies prompt had to do with feasts. I could write food pornography, but what I really want to say is that a true feast has very little to do with the food served. It's about the people and the circumstances and even the ritual. The ritual is obvious in the case of holiday meals (in my case, it was Thanksgiving and Passover seders when growing up). But it applies to things like birthday dinners, too. We always went out for our birthdays and we had a choice of where to go and my choice was inevitably Palace of Wong. The point was that we didn't eat there often and we always had the same food. I'm sure that much of the Chinese food I've eaten since is infinitely better, but a take-away you stop at every few weeks has nothing on the elegance of serving yourself dim sum off a multi-tiered platter in a room with red-flocked wallpaper.

In the end, it doesn't matter if it's Mom's once a year chopped liver or the doctored version of a boughten product (extra onions fooled my great-aunt and I was not allowed to explain my laughter at her praise for it). It's that everyone is there at the table, eating together.