I Remember the Food

“What’s your favourite meal? Who cooks it best? What does the meal remind you of?”

Sitting down at the table, I place the pasta carbonara that I just made before me, sticking a fork into it and twirling it around so the spaghetti whips around my fork in a creamy mess.

Pasta carbonara has always been my favourite food, and has been for years.

Eating it now gives me a pang of homesickness.

Sitting here in my university hall’s kitchen, I miss my mum, dad and sister. Sitting around the kitchen table with mum’s freshly cooked food was always the highlight of a weekend evening.

I guess I never really appreciated those times until now, sitting along with the sound of my house mates in the living area or studying away in their rooms, music thumping so loudly I wonder how they can concentrate.

I remember when I was younger – around five or six – sitting at the table after a hard day at school. It had been a long day full of children pulling at my hair and pushing me over in the playground when the teachers weren’t looking. My mum had chosen to make me pasta carbonara, let me watch cartoons at the kitchen table and cradle me close while I cried.

Mum’s cooking never failed to make me feel better after that. If I had had a shitty day at school, I always knew that my mum’s cooking would be waiting for me at home.

Once I got older I started to be out a bit later and my schedule was all over the place.

Mum’s cooking and family dinners were soon moved to only Saturdays and Sundays, meaning that whenever I got home I was to cook my own food, or heat up whatever my mum had already cooked which was never the same as the freshly cooked stuff.

I soon stopped appreciating the home cooked meals from my mum and the family dinners as much as I had when I was younger.

Sitting here now, I wish I could be sitting with my family and eating mum’s home cooked pasta carbonara instead of my attempt at making the food.

I really do.

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