On sharing

People who love to eat are always the best people

Julia Child

Julia Child is known by many as the American cook that conquered France, with Mastering the Art of French Cooking revolutionising the way many people prepared and cooked food with its publication in 1961. Her wise words here reflect the way I tend to choose my friends – if we don’t have an appreciation of food in common, what else are we supposed to base our friendship on? Shared experience? Ridiculous!

Now I’m not so naive as to think that our relationships with food are never complicated, however, I’m in the very fortunate position of enjoying my meals without a negative emotional connection, for which I am grateful. For me the simplest of meals conjure memories of childhood or places I’ve been, or they make me want to learn more about food and get better at cooking it, reminding me not to be lazy. When shared I love both the silence that falls over a table of people concentrating on eating, as well as the ideas that tend to follow:

“Wouldn’t this be perfect over pasta?”

“Oh god, I bet this would be amazing with pork”

“Maybe we could remake this with a little nutmeg”

Cooking for someone is an expression of affection, and whilst cooking with someone can be an exercise in patience at first, it can become a well-choreographed dance, stretching for that utensil, moving to one side so they can reach that cupboard.

Eating and cooking, for me, are not merely functional, they become the milestones that life happens around: that beetroot meringue at my 21st birthday (how?!), my Mum’s lemon Easter cake at well, Easter, the first time I made pasta from scratch on mine and Harry’s 2nd anniversary. Food is there at all the pivotal moments in our lives and sharing all that with the people I love is why I agree with Julia – people who love to eat really are the best people.