#reverb12 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give us all the chance to reflect on 2012 and the opportunity to write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year. Through December 31st Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.
Feast: Hopefully you’ve had more than one spectacular meal in 2012, but what is the first that comes to mind? Were you surrounded by family at the dining room table? Sitting on a bench by the lake? Bring us there.
When I try to close my eyes and think of what the single best meal I had this year could possibly be, it’s a fight to the death between the Napa Valley and good old Lubbock, Texas.
Show me your surprised face.
At first I tried to sort them out by looking for their differences. Baguettes versus cornbread. Wine versus beer. White linen napkins versus gingham-printed paper napkins. Loafers versus boots.
Except, as luck would have it, the distance between the two was bridged very quickly by some incredible chorizo.
Pork products, as luck would have it, are a universal love language.
And as I went through my mental record of Meals And Snacks We Had Eaten, I came back to the very first meal we ate in each place. Tacos eaten on our laps in the car from a roadside stand in Sonoma before our first wine tasting. A three-meat sampler laced with BBQ sauce on a styrofoam plate in the middle of Love Field during our Dallas layover.
Those tacos? Were phenomenal. The meat sampler? Was probably quite average in the scheme of BBQed things. But the moment they passed my lips, I was finally there.
They say that the feast is in the first bite. I don’t know that I can say I have properly visited a place, be it an exotic locale or someone’s home, until I have broken bread there.
I landed in Montreal, we ate carpaccio and crab cakes off of an end table in the hotel room, washed down with local red wine.
We drove into Madison and headed straightaway to the Great Dane for a pint of beer.
Good, bad or ugly, sitting down to the first proper meal you eat on vacation that is like seeing in color for the first time. Every time. It pries you from the sense of normalcy that marks the order of everyday living and confronts you in each bite with the fact that we are here now.
And three days, a week, two weeks later when you finally trudge in the door, worn-down by your journey home, there’s nothing like that first familiar bite that says go ahead, unpack your bags, we are here now once more.