Today, my Author Spotlight is my dear sister in-law, Kari Smith Murphy. Kari is a full time college student pursuing a degree in Forensic Psychology. She enjoys spending her free time out of the classroom with her husband Blake and their 4-year old son, (my adorable nephew 😉 Landon.
Kari won my Author Spotlight today because of her essay I’m about to share with you. Although she is not pursuing publication she’s taking English and the instructor allows her creativity to flow. I think Kari may be on to something here. She has a unique voice and the subject matter is very special to Kari, and to me, too. I was thrilled to read her most recent essay. I wanted to share this with all of you…
I can’t cook. It’s true. When I do the whole house smells like someone lit the stove on fire then tried to put it out with burnt rags. One may think I am exaggerating, but unfortunately for us, it’s true. I do however have one go-to-meal that seems to come out right each time and it is spaghetti. Spaghetti is the first thing I made after I was married and the only thing my new husband could stomach. It was a basic recipe and it was good. Not Daddy good, but it was good.
My dad’s spaghetti was amazing. The man was a sheer genius when it came to the dish. I would think of how much I wanted some for dinner then to my surprise that evening when he came home he’d make it, like we had ESP. I have played around with the recipe for years trying to figure out why his spaghetti was so delicious, but never could. I would walk down the aisles of the grocery store looking at labels trying to spark some memory of what he would put in the sauce to no avail. Then with the next batch, I would try again and fail. Although, the sauce got better each time, it was still missing something and I was determined to find that key ingredient. So back to the grocery store and back to the kitchen I went.
It was a particularly grueling day for me that chilly spring evening when I decided that I would make spaghetti for dinner. While gathering all the ingredients I opened the refrigerator and something I hadn’t tried fell out onto my foot. It was so generic and so simple, there was no way this could be the missing piece, but could it? I threw this mystery item in my sauce towards the end just for fun and there it was. This was it. Emotions flooded over me; I fell to the floor weeping, dumbfounded not even sure, if I was happy or sad. Still sobbing I set the table for dinner; silently I sat and watched my husband and son as they ate, then ask for seconds, then thirds. Before I knew it, the entire batch was gone.
It was a chilly night in September when my father was killed; his life cut short by an angry man’s bullet. His spaghetti was so much more to me than just dinner, it was comfort, and it was safe. So whenever I am feeling particularly blue I’ll whip up a batch and remember the good times, remember my father.
Although I can’t recall much from our conversation that day, I do recall asking for spaghetti when he returned home from his hunting trip. It only took nine years for me to have that spaghetti, Daddy’s spaghetti.