Meals and Memories: When Comfort Food Becomes Soul Food

Every Monday night on Dartmouth College campus, I looked forward to having a wholesome meal made in the AQ kitchen and enjoying it with my fellow peers and the community. Every Tuesday night, I would take a trip to the Collis dining hall with my friend to have pasta. These are the rituals I adopted my first two terms at Dartmouth, and now that I’ve been away from Hanover for so many weeks, I realize why I looked forward to those meals and the joy they brought. 

All my life, I’ve been fortunate to have well-prepared, home-cooked meals. I usually eat with my family, but even when high school activities prevented me from having a sit-down dinner, my mom would ensure I had a warm thermos of pasta or a tupperware container of fresh salad. At school, I attempted to maintain eating well, eating meals and surrounding myself with friends and positive company while doing so. Now, I miss those meals at school more than I initially missed my own meals at home. So I’ve tried to recreate those meals at home. Virtual AQ dinner on Monday nights allows me to have a meal with the friendly faces I no longer see daily. And, every Tuesday is now “Collis Pasta Tuesday” in my house, when either my mom or I prepare some kind of pasta.

Similarly, I’m still adjusting to attending mass virtually. It feels improper to be in my own home rather than in God’s house, but I try my best to dress a little nicer than normal and get in the right mindset. Still, I’m not alone, and I have my family praying with me. No matter where I am, I have some kind of community that can celebrate Christ, and that’s an essential part of my faith. As much as my religious journey is self-motivated, it prospers when supported by the love of the people that surround me.

Saint Jude is one of the 12 Apostles, and is remembered as the patron saint of lost causes. But he is also, more importantly, the Patron Saint of hope and prayer. He teaches us to follow Jesus when our faith is challenged the most. In times of uncertainty, I like to find the positive constants in my life. Even though we are apart, I have opportunities to talk to my friends, and they have been there for me this entire quarantine. My family has supported me through this entire virtual term, and never failed to pick me up when I feel like I am slipping. I know that God continues to watch over me and root for me every step of the way.  So even amidst all these changes, I’m privileged to count on there being food on the table, to have loved ones near and far, and– as long as I’m in the mood– every Tuesday will be Collis Pasta Tuesday. 

Adelina Sederman ‘23