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Bookmarking Memories Over a Meal

With a few twists in the writing department, “Breaking Bread” could have been the name of that popular TV show on AMC about a high school teacher with lung cancer who goes rogue to take care of his family and winds up on the wrong side of the law. They also would have had him teaching culinary class rather than chemistry.

Instead, breaking bread is more often used in reference to uniting peacefully over a shared experience after a time apart.

Beyond the commune with your body through its nutritional value and components, food frequently serves as a conduit that renews the soul in its ability to allow a commune with the spirit of others.

Comfort food has evolved to become a blanket term we tend to cover the concept of any food — maybe particularly any heavy, homespun and rustic food — that we turn toward to help elevate our mood in especially stressful or troublesome times. However, there’s a deeper string to follow that ties directly into a sense of nostalgia that certain food can awaken.

Food gives a feel and provides a fullness further than the physical by reinforcing family, social and cultural bonds, which provides a stronger connection to self-identity and deeper sense of place.

Certain types of foods are probably most commonly linked to memories of our halcyon innocence of childhood, but food can also warm more recent recollections and bring them into the clearer focus of the forefront: first dates, personal anniversaries, special get-togethers, good times that were cherished and even difficult times of personal perseverance.

In that respect, food can be seen as the junction that joins the sections of the thread that is our lives. These future memories and mental touchstones are woven every day throughout Greater Lansing, thanks in no small part to the bounty of culinary options at our disposal in the region’s tireless dining community that draw people in to gather and celebrate.

We’re celebrating that rich food and beverage tableau in this issue of 517 Magazine because it so often serves as the backdrop of the important scenes of our lives that compose our next remembrances and ruminations.

So, sure, let’s hear today’s specials. Because they are an important ingredient in the recipe for tomorrow’s memories.

Tiffany Dowling