Reason for the Season

| November 28, 2011

I know that usually I post about recipes or dishes that I love and want to share, but was motivated to write about friends – those people that make you feel at loved, no matter where you are or how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other.

My husband was a Marine and as we just celebrated both Veteran’s Day and the Marine Corps Birthday he and his buddies have been calling each other to catch up and celebrate their collective Birthday. His bond with this group of distinguished men is extraordinary, powerful and unique – it is a relationship that most people cannot understand. I don’t know the whole story of their friendship (they’re a pretty stoic bunch of guys), but over the last 6 years I’ve learned a lot from them about what it truly means to be a friend.

This group of men were in Iraq together in 2005, working to keep their Marines safe. I know that there were cigars shared in foxholes after a particularly gruesome and intense attack, and that there were more than a few near misses as mortars attacked their base daily. These Marines trusted each other with their lives in a very tangible way and it is this trust that sealed their bond for life.   Even today, with everyone in different states and timezones, my husband’s friends remember to call each other on birthdays, wedding anniversaries and they are eternally planning their next get together.

As an outsider, I always learn something new about my husband when he’s with one of his Marine friends – it’s like I get to see a whole different side of him and I absolutely love it. He’s such a quiet person around his “civilian” friends, it takes a lot for him to open up, but with these guys there’s no shell, no fear of not being accepted, he’s just…. him. It’s absolutely wonderful.  I must admit that I don’t have relationships exactly like the one described, but I am lucky to say that I do have friends whose company I treasure and who  make me incredibly happy. Friends with whom I feel I can be genuine self.  I was fortunate enough to see some of those happy, friendly faces a couple of nights ago at a fun little restaurant in Foggy Bottom (Washington, DC) and it reminded me (to bring it all back around to food!!) that when you bring together people that warm your heart, and food that makes you smile, magic can happen.

This time of year those of us that cook tend to get overwhelmed with planning the perfect holiday meal – I know that I have been guilty of stressing out about whether I wanted to put chestnuts in the stuffing or what I should brine the turkey with – that sometimes we don’t realize the warmth and breath of the people around us. SO here’s the thing – no one is going to be mad at you for not offering a 15-course meal, but they will feel pretty cheated if they only get to steal 3 minutes with you. Please, please enjoy this holiday season, cook your brains out but remember that the people eating the food are the reason for the season!

Photo: ZomppaB (aka Belinda)

And because I can’t not include a recipe in this email, here‘s the recipe for the lasagna I made for Ronnie his first weekend back in the states after coming home from Iraq. It’s a LOT LOT LOT of work, but if you have a snowy weekend with nothing to do it is totally worth it!!!












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Category: Featured, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

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  1. Belinda says:

    Thanks to men like your husband. A great thanks.