Saturday, March 21, 2009

Musings on a Sunny Day

I wonder how many political or social contracts have been discussed, negotiated, and decided upon as heads of state, tribal leaders, or warlords dined. What were these meals that they ate? Could something as intricate and impacting as say, the Yalta Conference, be worked out over caviar and creme fraiche, and borsch? Was post World War II Europe subdivided while Stalin sipped Ukrainian spirits as Churchill took tea? 

Food plays a wide variety of roles in events of these kinds. At some events it may be the grand focus; others it may be merely on the table to give your hands something to do as you anxiously sit waiting for it all to end. We have all been there. I'd prefer to think that conquering peoples would throw a lavish feast for their newly acquired citizens; a celebration of the merging of their respective cultures, even if it wasn't consensual. Then again, this event would be far less exciting than a barrage of artillery, or the surprise decades later discovery of a forgotten, yet well placed, land mine. Probably why it is not in practice today. 

Throughout my life I have met a variety of people over dinner. I've even negotiated business deals, evaluated employees, bargained for love, and thought up brand new business models while enjoying a light snack, or a well prepared portion of fish and chips. I've been responsible for introducing kindred spirits over meals, people who have been friends for years; others who were doomed to repeat mistakes made in their pasts. I've had the pleasure of being introduced to some special folks as well, some who are well loved, and some who are life inspiring. Food seems to be a constant through it all, a character actor who's abilities to adapt are impeccable and delicious. 


Heather's Moving Castle said...

Food goooood. You funny, cuz! I like it!!

TexasDeb said...

I just got back from a weekend spent with old college friends. We laughed, cried, drank and ate. And ate. Preparing meals to share was a central part of reminding ourselves how we had originally bonded over meals in the dorm cafeteria.

Under the best of circumstances, food is always more than "just food". Great post.

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