In its most recent issue, the National Post published the above infographic of the last meals of the famously departed. According to the publication, “‘Last Meals’ charts its eponymous subject matter on an x-axis of fanciness and a y-axis of caloric content.” Based on the lifestyles each celebrity lived, there are few surprises…especially considering each last meal was likely not intended to be their last meal.
The data and chat of delicious food got me thinking, though — if I was blessed enough to know what my last meal would be, what would I choose? Would it be a gigantic bowl of ice cream and cookies, like Elvis Presley? Would I choose something a little more indulgent like Marilyn’s meatballs and Dom Perignon?
Of course, this is my last meal. Though I’ve been battling a thousand or so food allergies for most my life (dairy, eggs, gluten, red meat, and lamb, just to name a few….) that probably won’t matter if I’m not going to be around for more than a few hours. It also probably won’t matter if I consume a few thousand calories, even though I’m currently counting my calories (well, on most days.) So, I’m just going to pretend that I can eat gluten, and cheese and consume thousands of calories like it just won’t matter.
I’m going to pretend that…I can eat all I want of my mother’s homemade lasagna. Because if I had it my way, that would be my last meal.
My mom’s homemade lasagna isn’t your average lasagna. I’m really not sure how she makes it. I was terrible about watching her cook while I was growing up — she never followed a recipe, instead just throwing “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” together based on her intrinsic knowledge of my grandmother’s cooking to put together night after night of comfort food. The lasagna was rich in sauce, gooey with layers of cheese and pasta and yet still somewhat crunchy. (The slices from the edges of the pan were my favorite. Weird, I know.) Maybe it was because she knew how to make it and bake it in a way that no one else does.
Maybe it’s because it was baked with a little bit of love.
So of course, if I also get to have my way, I’d share a pan (and lots of red wine) with her if I only had minutes or hours left to live. (Morbid, I know….but we’re all going to be there someday.) I’d want to tell her everything I’ve never said, maybe apologize for a thing or too I’m still to stubborn to say, and go down with an epic dinner shared with the one person who knows me best. I’d want her to be able to tell my story, because if I can’t keep talking, I’d want someone else to do it for me.
Hopefully over that same famous homemade lasagna.