Betcha didn’t see this one coming! You probably thought I was going to pick some posh Back Bay establishment where my high heels get to run the show. But you are WRONG! HA HA! No, my final and favorite restaurant is home.
There is nothing like my family all getting together, sitting around on the back porch or patio, sharing a meal that was made with love.
Typically, dad will grill some meat that he’s been marinading for days, or has picked out some desirable cut that I have no idea about, as meat is not my specialty. He is usually excited about whatever he’s about to sear over the flame, and even does a little dance when the meat is about to hit the grill.
Mom is the queen of sides, and usually has some great dish that she’s whipped together that she’s been thinking about or came across in some cookbook. We are never disappointed with what ends up on the table. Sometimes it’s as simple as roasted veggies, that are done just right, or a fun colorful salad, and sometimes a potato salad with unexpected add-ons! I always love a simple caprese salad with a balsamic glaze, but I usually love whatever she puts together.
By the time all is ready, everything is laid out on the kitchen counter, waiting for us to partake in the meal. Napkins, forks, knives, dressings, sauces, plates of food… you name it, it’s there and my parents have it.
We quickly outfit our plates with all sorts of food groups, and settle ourselves around the table. Sometimes music is playing, other times we listen to the gentle tweeting of birds in the surrounding trees. We chat, poke fun at one another, and eat. It’s one of the best restaurants in town, and there is never a lack for something we want.
I know that we are a very fortunate family in that we never are without. When we have nights like these, I see just how plentiful my life is, and how full it always will be. I know that I’ve made the last few days of this blog about food, and as strange as that may have seemed at first, food is how we gather, how we communicate, how we come together and share what is most important to us in life.
New England has been a place where I’ve gathered with friends and family, where I’ve had amazing experiences, and have learned so much about myself, and those with whom I surround myself. I have loved, I have shared, I have found what’s most important to me. I know I can go on with a new chapter, a new phase, a whole new book with such confidence that if I ever had to come back east, I would have support from all of those about whom I care most; it’s been obvious from the outpouring of love and expression that I’ve witnessed over the past few months, and especially over the last few weeks. Some have worked their way even more deeply into my experience, and some have wiggled their way out of my life, but that’s to be expected when life changes occur. It’s part of the process, and I understand that this was bound to happen. It makes me know where I stand when I’m here, and who is most important to visit and for whom I will make time.
I don’t know where the road will really take me, as most of my “plans” change in some way or another, but when we gather together again here, maybe the best restaurant in New England will have some more patrons!