On the flight to Portland, I realized that I had a few very clear priorities for my arrival: get my bag, meet up with my friends, get dinner in me, and possibly smoke some pot so I can sleep well at night (remember, marijuana is legalized in Oregon).
What can I say? I am but a simple creature.
My trip is mostly about seeing friends, who I so rarely get to spend quality time with because of that whole giant-country-in-the-middle thing. I’m lucky that the people I want to see all live together in the same shared house, where they so kindly host me when I come out to the west coast. I’ve had previous Portland trips where I wanted to go out and see things all of the time – not so, this trip. I want to be around my friends, whatever that means, and I want to spend my birthday with people who are important to me.
I plan to cook a few dinners for the household to share (roast chicken and root vegetables, pork chops and Brussels sprouts, maybe a baked chicken and pasta dish) as thanks for their hospitality, but also because I really like cooking for people. We’ll go out for my birthday and Halloween, at the very least, but otherwise keep everything pretty budget-friendly.
Cooking, for me, is how I show people that I love them. If I care about you, I will try to feed you – that’s just that. Breaking bread anywhere together will do in a pinch but, really, if I have my way, I’ll make you a meal or some dessert. It’s something tangible that I can do for people and, as a person with unpredictable pain that can leave me bed-ridden on a bad day, I put extra weight on DOING and MAKING things when I feel that I can.
Feeding people is, to me, a very intimate exchange of effort and caring. I mean, let’s think about food for a second; we need it to live and it’s something we actually put inside of our bodies. If I was the one to craft something that you take into you to continue living and you enjoy it? Wow, I feel like I am now really involved in your life!
Did I get a little too creepy here? Maybe. Sorry. But, guys, come on, food. Food is so important to me. This is not the last you’ll hear about it from me!