In university, I’ve come to find there’s no peaking into large, well-lit ovens. There is no one who will tolerate my whines for more dessert. There is no Dr. Mom who will place dish after dish on the table unprompted. I am told I am a self-sufficient adult, but that’s clearly a statement of propaganda. 

The Monotony 

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The long, empty, endlessly monotonous hallway of my freshman year dorm had no wafting scents of breakfast foods that would force any sleep-deprived student out of bed. The snacks of choice in my current place of residence—bland buttered popcorn and burnt sourdough toast slathered in bulk-bought single-serve packets of Nutella—can not compare to the pakoras my mother would fry on casual Sunday afternoons. To sink into a living room couch and savor a piece of a peach cobbler while watching another rerun of Jane the Virgin is unheard of on Moffitt's fourth floor

Few things in this world are sacred, but my mother’s hands must be protected at all costs. They show the wear of the world and have the ability to create the closest thing I have to the physical representation of love: food. I feel it is often forgotten how important it is that we associate our food with an intimate tenderness. The meals we reminisce on, the meals we create, all have a major impact on our overall mental health. Food is associated with happiness, and thus without good food, we will have a harder time acquiring that certain standard of happiness we need to survive young adulthood

How Do I Stop Time? 

As I grow up I wish more and more for the ability to stop time. If only we could freeze our ideal moment, forever living in an uncomplicated bliss. With consistency, meals are a respite from the insanity of each day. For whatever arbitrary amount of meals I have decided to consume that day, that is the time I choose to have total autonomy. But my açaí bowls and soggy frozen Trader Joes dumplings—or whatever recreation I try to attempt—will never compare to the skill of my mother’s lunch extravaganzas. What I used to take for granted, I now cherish with every ounce of my being. The pampering, the coddling, the comfort of soul food.

My heart aches as I yearn to stand at the island in the center of my childhood home’s kitchen, aimlessly munching on snap peas and apples coated in kala namak, the black Himalayan salt sprinkled on every fruit that graced our countertops. This is where patience comes into my favor. I patiently await the holidays, the weekends, and any reason to escape the taxations of adulthood to find myself patiently awaiting a bowl of masala chicken with heaping loads of jasmine rice, more than any person should be able to consume. 

Just Call Her

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If you take away anything from this article, let it be this: eat to your heart’s content. Fill your soul with warm cider and thick soups. Here's even an article to the Eat an extra cookie. Call your Ma, Mama, Mother Dearest. If she’s anything like mine, you can only expect a video of the aftermath of that night’s dinner party.