They say food is the center to every family story. In my family, food was (and is) the center of how we survived as humans. My mom never did like to cook, but always did because my parents and I needed to sit down as a family and eat together. You know, the traditional family sitting where people ate and talked about how their day went. Food was never an art in my household. You cooked it, you put it on your plate, and you ate it. No visual appeal, just tasted like it’s supposed to taste without any added fanfare.
In spite of all this, I loved mashed potatoes. If it was my choice, I would have my mom cook it every day. Mashed potatoes just seemed so, well, ordinary, but I loved it anyway. When I felt sick, I wanted mashed potatoes. When I was feeling down, I wanted mashed potatoes. There’s just something warm and solid about mashed potatoes, something comfortable and homelike. And if it was served with some chicken and rice, my day was complete. The aroma filled the house, making my mouth water and longed for just one bite.
I remember this meal because it represents my home life and that means comfort. Not the nasty dirty hole filled with worms and dirt, but the place where you can snuggle up on the couch and read a good book. Nor is it dry and empty, filled with sand. This is the place where antique furniture fill the house and old paintings and photographs line the walls. This is the place that looks lived in, where everybody is welcome and good stories are made.
And maybe, just maybe, you might get a homemade meal. Perhaps some mashed potatoes.