Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

My First Love

In Love on February 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm

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I’ve always been aware of my first love. For all the loves who have come in and through my life, who I’ve loved intensely and sweetly, this love remains. For men who have loved me and left or those who have had the door shut in their face. None has ever touched me like my first love–food!

It’s been a continuing affair since first memory, snacks at the circus. Grandmother always said I ate my way through the three rings. The terror of that day was holding the peanuts tightly fearing the elephant wanted one. I screamed scarlet and held the bag closer. I won. Dumbo was terrified.

I learned the art of cooking in my grandmother’s southern kitchen. I did well there and had the weight to prove it. Food didn’t talk back. Pork chops and fried apples, roast beef with mash and gravy. Home-canned veggies and preserves.

As I grew older I cooked my way into relationships and marriage. No one ever left my table and complained. As I fell out of love, I stopped cooking. Starve, baby, starve. I learned to prepare continental, Spanish, and Oriental cuisine. The nicest thing my former husband said about me was, “If you want to make Carol happy, just give her a cookbook.”

In the ware of weight, food won. Food loved me. People could see it, and I never said no to a box of chocolates. There’s no “heroin chic” for me. Food is my comfort, my control, and the nicest reward. A new dish well prepared and enjoyed makes my endorphins sing.

It’s a lifelong affair, and as you can see, I wear my love well.

By Carol West

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