Another entry from Riverside, California:
My Dad’s Tacos
In a high-speed world, is it still possible to have a relationship with food? I like to
think so. Being a full-time college student at UCR, I am looking for food that is both convenient and can be eaten in a quick pace. Usually, this consists of anything that is prepackaged, can be shoved into a microwave, or just add water and I have my lunch for the day. During these times of eating, I give no second thought of what the food means to me; it’s just a substance to keep my energy going for the hectic day ahead of me. Although, most of the time I am not thinking twice about what I am putting into my mouth, there are some moments that the food on my plate means the world to me.
In these small moments food is not just a substance to keep me full, but a part of my life. Coming home from a long day at school, probably stressed out because an exam is coming in one of my classes, I smell the aroma of beef mixed with garlic and salt cooking in the kitchen, a process that takes five hours to cook; my dad says this process is what makes the meat juicier and tender. At that moment, my world changed as I’m already tasting the savory meat, usually served in the form of tacos, in my mouth. When my dad makes his famous tacos, the household is in joy and my siblings that are already moved out of the house come and visit just to eat my. In this moment, the tacos on my plate mean the world to me. The simplest meal that my father can make brings my family together, gives me moments of joy and happiness, and creates long lasting memories with my family that I will never forget. The plate of tacos reminds me of the struggles my parents went through to be able to have these small moments with the family. The plate of tacos is no longer food but represents family and the joys of life.
My relationship with food is not that great as compared to other people in this world. I cannot always sit down and enjoy the meal right in front me; my time is already stretched out as far it can go. I do not have the time to think about what the food means to me or what role it plays in my life; that is just the world I live in and so many other people as well. However, in those small moments that life gives me, the food in front of me is precious. When living in this high-speed world, I do believe that we can have a relationship with food. For me it is the small, short moments of when I am eating my dad’s tacos. With these moments, my relationship with food becomes stronger, changing the role food has from just something that fills me up to representing my joys in life.