Prompt for Dec 26: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

For any number of reasons, I’ll be glad when reverb10 is over. These prompts are starting to wear me down, although the discipline of writing (almost) every day feels good, just as it did in November doing NaBloPoMo.  Plus when December is over, it’s January and we can start counting down the days till my birthday…you might want to beat the rush and start shopping now.

Food? You’re asking me about food?  I love food – I love to eat; I like to cook; I like to think that I have a fairly balanced attitude towards food and eating; and I think that sharing a meal with a group of friends is one of the last civilized pleasures. The food section of Wednesday’s New York Times is pretty much the reason I get the paper delivered.

That said, I don’t remember any one particular food that touched my soul, although a good Manchego gets pretty close.  Instead, what comes to mind are various meals and conversations shared with people I care about: the great Cuban sandwich and amazing house margaritas I had with my brother at Rye House; dinner with Joe and Kent at Pizzette 211 in San Francisco, as part of my now-annual Mommy Goes Away Without the Family trip–and also the delicious lunch Susan and I had on our drive north out of San Fran to Indian Springs. Husband and I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday at Craft where I had potatoes au gratin so good I’d trade my kids for a bigger bowlful. There was an anniversary dinner in Chicago’s Millennium Park with Husband in August; and then of course there was my discovery of brussels sprouts–as prepared by David Chang–which I never would’ve tried if Bridget hadn’t suggested it at our lunch last winter at Momofuku Ssam Bar.

So here’s to lots of good food and conversation in 2011–I’m going to cook more, I’m going to start giving my kids cooking lessons, and Husband and I will be “date nighting” at restaurants more often. Those are my food-related vows for 2011.  Let’s get started: anyone have a good suggestions for where Husband and I should go to celebrate my inching ever closer to fifty?