Hoecake and Michelangelo

October 30, 2019 –

After pouring in the oil, my mother heated her small iron skillet. When the heat was right, she poured in the cornbread batter, and presto, in two or three minutes hoecake bread appeared. The thin, six-inch round bread was crisp and tasty, especially the outer three inches of the circle; that was fried extra crispy. It was served with a bowl of turnip greens. No one makes hoecakes like my mother.

Each time when I finish a serving of my wife’s potato salad, I say, “Ho mangiato bene;” the phrase Michelangelo used to describe his mother’s meals… I have eaten well.

Food has been good to me, and I have been good to food. Maybe, food has been too good to me. At eighty years old, I still eat like a twenty-eight-year-old man, but I exercise like an eighty-year-old man. Too large an amount of food (or activity) can be harmful. Though, excellent food is the exception.

I don’t know your favorite dish or who prepares it. It may be your wife, grandmother, aunt or someone else. Whatever the dish, I’m sure you can say, “Ho mangiato bene.”

The real question is can you own the words of Horatio G. Spafford’s hymn, “Sono in pace con la mia anima,” better known as, “It Is Well with My Soul?