If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would it be?
I decided to ask my children this question, though couched in terms that did not imply death. I was supremely gratified that no one mentioned the word McDonald’s, though in the end, their choices were more like a list of starchy side dishes and desserts, rather than resembling anything like what I would call a “meal” (one child had four different potato dishes on her list).
My choice of a last meal would be pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans cooked with bacon and onion, and biscuits with butter slathered on top. I would also have a nice, icy glass of Cherry Coke.
I have realized though, as I write, that I would only want this meal if it was prepared by my mother. It is, after all, merely a stand-in for the person who has infused it with what it represents to me: comfort, familiarity, home, love.
I believe I would not want a last meal at all, unless my mother could cook it and sit at the table with me while I was eating it, graciously ignoring the fact that her grown daughter still likes to put her green beans in her mashed potatoes.