First rite of passage: honoring with food

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a feast of Indian cuisine

A daughter’s choices for what to lay out onto the groaning board may not be the same as her mother’s. Me, I enjoy a plethora of samplings from baklava to petit fours, and then a hearty helping of rich, red Italian food (or, should that be the other way around? No. Dessert really should be first.) My daughter, Ginny, would probably choose a plateful of sushi, some recently harvested loose leaf tea, and a whole host of Indian entrees from tikka massala to  aloo gobi. . . and that is exactly what we served on her first rite of passage that Saturday afternoon, with a few spanakopita on the side.

Preparing and serving food to another can be a way of honoring them as well. When we choose to nurture another’s body through good food, we also nurture their unique tastes when we let them share with us the things that bring their taste buds joy. It is like opening a window into their gastronomy, and sometimes it leads to opening doors into our own, as well as trips to markets and restaurants we didn’t even know existed in this world. (Yes, tikka massala is now one of my favorites; I crave that lovely, creamy, orangey-red sauce; I’d better stop, my mouth is salivating).

So to honor Ginny, age 14, at her first rite of passage, I snuck questions in and around our conversations, regarding her favorite foods. “I’m going to the store, honey. I’m not saying I’m going to get any of the things you say, but if you could pick anything out for dinner this week, what would you pick? I mean anything!?” (I’m sure there are other, even less obvious ways in and around the question.)

On the day of her rite of passage, the honoring of Ginny’s taste buds was in full swing; there was hot tea in antique cups, sushi in round sticky circles on a platter, crunchy triangles of Greek spanakopita, and a healthy offering of Indian food. And I have to say, every stomach was satisfied because every stomach seemed ready for the adventure.

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another cake from another celebration, but you get the idea! let it explode with enthusiasm!

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5 thoughts on “First rite of passage: honoring with food

    • Yes! She was. And so were we. Getting a bunch of lovely women in the room for the purpose of encouraging a teen can bring magic for all. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  1. YUM! Indian food is a personal fave, so I was loving Ginny’s choice! And dear readers, Gina is a master with food celebrations. Once upon a time, she planned a tea for me around the theme of “magical realism” because I was a student of Latin American Studies at the time and a fellow lover of literature…..simply put, Gina is amazing. Keep reading.

    • Thank you, friend!! That’s a great comment and a wonderful endorsement! I loved our foody celebrations . . . always space for “tiny teas” or “Chronicles of Narnia” feasts . . . . those are the moments we remember, when we took the time to take the time . . . .

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