There’s nothing like food made with love; it’s rich and hearty, savory and sweet, filling and satisfying. You don’t want a lot of unnecessary items, or too many mixed flavors; it throws off the plate. But, when you find that perfect combination of spicy, savory, sweet, and delicious, you hold on to it! The best thing about cooked food is that when you talk about it, everyone has a particular set of ingredients in mind. Some plates have a healthy salad, some potato or macaroni salad. Some dishes aren’t complete without baked mac and cheese, others need fried chicken or both. Maybe you need rice and peas or curried, jerked, or brown stewed chicken. Perhaps you need kingfish, codfish, snapper or salmon. For some only red meat will do, steak, stew or oxtails. Whatever the perfect dish your mind’s eye conjures, it is the one you like so much you lick your fingers when you’re done.
Friends, real friends, are the cooked food of life. They warm you from the inside; they nourish your spirit, give you the strength you need to persevere through hard times, they flavor your life. I’ve had the good fortune to have some friends for thirty years or more and new one for more than five. It seems odd to have such a vast difference in time between making friends but I have my favorite dishes, and I’m a creature of habit. Friends who’ve spent three-quarters of your life with you can remind you of spices you forgot and joke about the time you used the wrong ones. Friends like that are like meals on wheels; they meet you where you are when you’re unable to get it yourself. Real friends understand you down to the marrow of your bones and recognize if something is off. Real friends can order for you because they know what you like and what you’ll never touch!
Good friends, treasured friends, are more like family than friends. They are the cherished heirloom recipes passed down from generation to generation. They are the ones who babysit your kids, embarrass you by telling them things you did as a child. They are the ones who will sit with you on the porch to watch your “grands” play with theirs, clucking and chuckling about how things have changed. Those friends are like the perfectly prepared plates at the holidays, the ones that make you take a nap afterward because you’re so satisfied you can’t eat another bite. God understood the importance of true friends; it’s even written about in Proverbs 18:24, “…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” How blessed am I to have a plate full of them.
I love those ladies like cooked food!