In case you needed dinner inspiration for this evening, today is National Spaghetti Day in the United States!
Spaghetti is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I could have a hot plate of it at least once a week and never once complain. To understand why, I’ll take you back a few (read “many”) years.
After my parents divorced, my brother and I would see my dad one weeknight each week, and would stay with him every other weekend. Once he remarried, our weeknight visits happened at his in-laws’ home. There Grams and Gramps adopted us as their own grandchildren, and I had a “normal” haven in the midst of my tumultuous teen years.
The evening routine was just that–a dependable routine. We would eat something homemade by Gramps, who loved experimenting with recipes both new and old, and then the kids would do the dishes while the adults sat to watch the evening news. In the summertime, I would get to walk their dog in the remaining daylight. In the wintertime, I might help Grams with her latest jigsaw puzzle.
That weekly routine provided more for me than just food. No matter what was going on in my life otherwise, this was a stable place I could count on. I was loved and accepted, as well as a contributing member of the family.
Back to spaghetti. One of the meals in the rotation was spaghetti, with Gramps’ homemade sauce. Every time he made it he tweaked it somehow and wanted to hear everyone’s reviews, but it was always tasty to me no matter what he did to it. Looking back at the portion sizes I would eat, I’m amazed I didn’t gain 100 pounds just from my teen spaghetti eating days!!
Spaghetti is more than just another food to me. It’s full of comforting memories that no other food brings up quite the same way. There are plenty of other “comfort” foods that taste good, but there’s no real emotional attachment to them.
I don’t always consider why I want spaghetti, but it’s definitely a regular in the menu rotation. I usually cheat with my sauce, warming up a jar of Prego and heating up frozen meatballs. But not tonight!
Tonight I’m making the sauce myself. And as it simmers, I’ll be remembering . . .
Do you have a comfort food that’s tied to memories of years gone by? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Is there someone who has made a positive impact on your life, either recently or long ago? Perhaps today is an opportunity to let them know. Write an encouraging note and mail it to them. You’ll bring a smile to their heart!
If they’re not still with us, take time to thank God for putting them in your life when He did.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 ESV