Food is evocative. It just is. There's no such thing as an innocent samosa. Or oyster. Or enchilada. Memories return like smoke, like it or not. The last time I saw Philip alive, he was skinny and exhausted, unable to eat, but still in the kitchen. He piled my plate with samosas, mango chutney and a smear of ghee because he claimed, "You are too damn thin, too thin, my dear. Eat. Eat." Thin because I was hoping to disappear. Thin because being dumped and an ex-wife weren't nearly as glamorous as I'd hoped. Even new accessories, the handbag and laptop, didn't fill the holes of desperate, gaping loss. Philip fed me out of a lifelong belief in the restorative power of food, yet after he died, every samosa tasted like hope misplaced, like the salty brine of ships lost at sea.
So when The Chef decided to come over and crack the nut of the thorny samosa, I said, "Have at it, but you're on your own." Spices were ground with mortar and pestle, the oil heated just so, the dough rolled and shaped, potatoes peeled, wine consumed. By the time Aussie Girl showed up with pups to carpet the floor, he was ready for his close-up. I nibbled, chewed slowly, then stuffed the whole thing in my mouth...amazing. Delicious. The best samosa I've ever had. And suddenly I was full, for the first time in a long time.