Earlier this week I had lunch with my dad at our family’s favorite Mexican restaurant: Tres Amigos. My sister-in-law nicknamed it 3F (for Three Friends). Tres Amigos has had who knows how many owners over the 30 years we’ve been eating there and who knows how many different menus. My dad can’t order his favorite dish anymore–chilaquiles. But he found something else that was good.

Here where I live, my husband and I had a similar favorite restaurant called Kelly’s. It was our go-to place for lunch, for birthdays, for guests. Once, we even ate lunch there on Christmas Eve while a light snow fell. But Kelly’s closed a few months ago. Now when we want to eat out, we can’t decide where to go. Sometimes we stay home.

Of course, staying home doesn’t mean that I cook because I no longer cook for my family. OK, fine. Put me down for Bad Mom. My teens get in who-knows-when most nights, and as soon as the time changes, my husband will be riding his bike in the evenings. Plus, the food that I like, no one else likes. I’m not vegan, but I enjoy trying vegan recipies. I love fish and fruit. I can’t live without nuts and sweetened, dried cranberries on a daily basis.

The only time all four of us eat together is when we’re at a family event, like we’ll be at this weekend, when the hordes descend for my grandmother’s 99th birthday. There will be beef stew on Friday, mimosas and tea on Saturday (as well as food, but I don’t know what kind), BBQ on Sunday. We’ll sit around, eating and talking, going back for an extra slice of cake.

I’m afraid my kids won’t reminisce about “Mom’s weird salads” the way I reminisce about my dad’s $89 Stew, my mom’s wild rice dressing, my uncle’s ability to transform anything he just shot or caught into something delicious. But they might remember the food from this weekend, along with a lot more than three people celebrating. Because these people are more than family—they’re friends, too.


  1. The real food memories ARE about the people most of the time. 🙂

    • Or maybe ALL of the time? For years I tried to remember what I prepared the year before for the “Drummond Christmas.” Never could. Tried writing it down so I’d know next year. Lost the list. Much later than I should have, I finally realized it didn’t matter what the menu was. It was the family (who are more than family – they’re friends, as you so aptly pointed out) together that is most important and that everyone remembers.

      Side note: Thank you Megan for every post and the beautiful way you put words together to make them so meaningful and insightful. I love you more………. you know the rest!

      • Fayma, I almost put you in here, but I was trying to keep this one on my mom’s side of the family. But your line would be, “It doesn’t matter what my aunt makes–we devour it.”

  2. Excited for the hordes to assend too! However, I’m with you, I love vegan food and usually end up making myself something different then kent. This I know will fall far by the wayside with kiddos in the picture! Always love your honesty. See you soon!

  3. I do think (I do hope) that the people are far more precious than the food. I’m sure my kids don’t reminisce about the great meals Mom cooked. It has never been my forte.
    I love this Megan. I guess I’ve told you I love the way you write.

  4. Sounds like a yummy weekend.

  5. I have to fix my own food after fixing the family food, and now that it’s kind of “mine” and “theirs,” I wonder what their memories will be? Your post has me thinking about that. My daughter said she couldn’t remember a vacation destination we took her to for about five years in a row when she was little. We couldn’t believe it. We felt like it was the only place we visited, and here she is 17 without any strong memories of it. So, with the food, the years we ate together every night, the same food…will they even remember?

  6. I read this at the hospital yesterday, and just loved it (but I couldn’t figure out how to comment from my phone. Okay maybe I could have figure it out, but I was really tired.

    In any case, I could just hear you telling this story. And I want to come over for tea and mimosas. Just stopping by to tell you this before returning to the hospital to wallow around in joy. Love you.

  7. They will remember something (“Remember how mom always ate that squirrel food? Nuts and seeds…she was always nibbling on something like that.”) Like Diana said, I could hear your voice telling this story and it made me miss you.

  8. Oh, wait. That was Nancy who said that. God is telling me I need to go visit Diana. Yessir!

  9. I, too, love your voice. And I, too, am FAR from a stellar cook. But I gotta tell you, we all remember that we ate dinner together every night, unless one of was eating elsewhere that night and then it would be 4 instead of 5. Every night, even with weird schedules and differing tastes. It was just part of the deal for us. Every family finds their own way, however, and I’m guessing you all will have fun stories to remember. . . maybe like the ‘squirrel food that mom eats’ as someone noted above. Hope the birthday celebration is filled with great food, family who are friends, and rich memories for each of you.

  10. My husband will eat just about anything. But there’s this matter now of the grandgirl who doesn’t want to eat anything. It makes it challenging because I’m not into cooking two meals…

    I’m thinking your family’s going to have fun memories of you. Remember how mom ate those nuts and berries–and then she wrote a poem about it?