We notice the rain making patterns on the window, the quality of sunlight on certain days. When we have the first great tomato of the season, when the scent in the air changes, the first meal of the year we eat outside, when the last leaf fall - events that make us go "ahh" and "aha". A spectrum of sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, feelings, inspiration, doing, cooking and eating becomes part of who we are.

We learn the pleasures of celebrations and feasting at an early age. A feast usually involves a ritualized event, and for many of us Christmas is our first such memory. Birthdays are another. Your parents might take you to a favorite place or have your favorite cake and food. My mother always made party sandwiches for mine, with chocolate milk, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. The pinwheel sandwiches made from Cheez Whiz with the pimento-stuffed olive in the middle especially fascinated me.

There were other times that I knew were special and profound. I didn't have the words at the time to express what I felt, but raspberries from the lady up the street who had raspberry bushes, avocados with lime.