Thursday, 25 September 2014


Beginning is something extraordinary. This is why I have always liked September so much since I was a kid.  September smells like brand-new books, like a new classroom and the reunion with classmates. It is a month that gives you a blank notebook that you can start writing: the begin of the course.

Starting is highly motivating, but it can also be hard and demanding. After a very stressed week, yesterday, that is to say Friday, after work, I needed one of those soft-drinks that give you wings. The office is a tempting place to work, but it can also be a jungle where not everyone survives.

I then remembered a tip of Mrs. Victoria Moreno, my literature tutor at comprehensive school:

- The best remedy against sadness is a good ham sandwich.

Riding the same bike which I daily use to go to work in the mornings I went in search of a diet Cola and a cordon bleu with chips and salad. I took a couple of minutes to have a look at the plate, fully covered by the cordon bleu, which was, at the same time, partially covered by the garrison. By the time I finished eating, my concerns had gone away. It is the power of what enters in the stomach.

Afterwards, I was again in a good mood. I walked along the street, with my bike at one side, listening to the bagpipe music of Susana Seivane and reminding so many occasions in which food has been our excuse and our meeting point: that dinner, at Christine Muhl’s, who invited me to taste Asian food prepared by Irisade and Christine herself. All those times when we met at Maite Bustamante’s, when I was studying law. The evenings when we all met at Betina’s after work, when we were living in Santiago. There is something magical in that rite of eating with friends and cooking for them: too many cooks in a too narrow kitchen, organizing a celebration, chatting, discussing any topic, occasionally nibbling something  or ruining prepared dishes one another (two people who cast salt in a dish; three who do not agree about how much ginger does the dish need).

And there is something healing in what we eat, when we eat this wanting it, among friends. I now understand the reason why the Romans used food to raise the dead. There are soups which can even resurrect a dead.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

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