My whole childhood has been in one home, under one roof. Many things contributed to making my house a home. Such as, the open door policy to friends and family, our unique two acre property in the middle of city limits that provided a large playground as a child and the celebrations that took place often. Unlike a lot of other households, I had one key difference that stood out to me in making my home special. The food and celebrations are the foundation for establishing many traditions and happiness for myself, family, and friends.
Specific foods connected to themes through the years. Outdoor BBQ’s, Spaghetti Birthday dinners, my Great Grandmothers recipe of sweet crescent rolls on holidays to name a few. Laughter and security came with each tradition. Food provided me a vehicle to gain appreciation for the opportunities that were present in my life.
Through food, I was exposed to a variety of standards; some acceptable and some questionable. I was offered insight into social etiquette and that our family culture is to serve others first, bringing comfort when possible. Food also provided me a lense from which I could view different cultures; an education that will travel with me every day for the rest of my life. Lastly, food was a constant and comforting presence in my household- a uniqueness that I hold higher than most any other. I realize that I am fortunate to have had the family culture of food and celebration available to me.
In retrospect, when I was younger, I didn’t comprehend the delicacies I was fortunate to experience on a daily basis in my home. Having a Mother as a Chef and Nutritionist led to creative dishes that also provided health and wellness. The ingenious food moments in our home, contributed to something I value deeply in life- food and the accompanying experiences.
Because food in my home has been so instrumental in the shaping of me, it is easily conceived how I can generalize these lessons away from my home. I’ve learned about ethnic traditions, an understanding of family dynamics and roles. I’ve had a glimpse into a culture’s soul as many food traditions come with educational lessons in my home. The way a home and community celebrate, and eat and dine can explain the very threads that hold a family together.
My home traditions have provided security, and shaped me. I can only hope I will be able to offer the same one day as I create a house and home. To be open to different ways and experiences. I hope my home will be welcoming, a place to congregate where relationships will be formed. A place of comfort, tangible smells coming from a kitchen, an open door with delicacies and a welcoming embrace on the other side. These are qualities that made my house a home and will forever nourish my soul.