“It’s a great day for roast beef!” exclaims my great niece.
Casseroles in ovens; soup simmering on the stove.
Bread sliced. Table set.
Cats removed from the table.
People arrive in a flurry of hugs and kisses, doorway gymnastics, and
The text message arrives: “Sorry, we’re going to be late. There are some issues. We’re on our way. Start without us.”
Should we wait?
Where’s the wine?
I need more wine.
Do you want red or white? Maybe a glass of white now, and then a glass of red?
Food on the table; cats off the table.
Everyone seated. Finally.
More wine poured.
Sammy, why are you under the table? Get back in your seat.
Sorry, we’re late.
It’s OK. We’re just getting to the soup. Go sit down.
Have some wine. Or do you want a beer?
I hope the meat isn’t dried out. No, it’s great. You outdid yourself.
Don’t you want to try the noodle kugel? Just a little piece? It’s really good.
(Whispered: Here, I tried it. You take the rest.)
Yes, I’ll have more meat.
Everything is delicious.
So how is your semester going?
Sammy, get back in your seat. Eat your spinach.
Do you like your new job?
Yes, of course I have pictures of my grandson. Here.
Awww. He’s adorable.
Yes, I think I’m feeling better.
I’ve had two knee replacements, you know.
Conversations around the table.
Kicks under the table.
Please pass the wine.
Is it time for dessert?
Where are the kids? Playing video games.
How did your cat get up THERE?
Is it time for dessert yet? Almost.
Who wants coffee?
It’s time for dessert.
Do you want apple cake or baklava?
I ate too much. Well, maybe a little sliver.
I’m going to vomit.
Do you want to take some food home with you?
How does Aunt Merril make this delicious food?
Oh, I get it—the most important ingredient is love–oh, and beef, says my grandniece.
Well, I don’t eat meat. But it’s all made with love.
Food, family, friends, love.
–And the joy of leftovers the next day.