My first memories of eating in bed are these: I’m a little girl and I’m about to have a nap in The Magic Bed. The Magic Bed is the name we have all given my mom’s bed, an antique wooden frame with pristine white bedding and an equally perfect white duvet cover. The bedroom I’m referring to was cornflower blue, with a large, gentle print of Picasso’s Sleeping Woman looking down onto the bed.
We would sometimes have naps in the afternoon. She would look at cooking magazines from the library and I would be reading something of my own, although I have a distinct memory of reading this book in particular (I still have the original copy on my bookshelf):
More often than not my mom would be crunching away on a head of iceberg lettuce. She would pass me the tight, shrinking cluster of palest green leaves, or sometimes just a single leaf of lettuce. There’s a poem in Till All the Stars Have Fallen about a child eating in bed with their mother, and I remember I would feel like part of the poem whenever I read it. These are calm moments in my life, preserved as though they were yesterday because of their unfailing ability to make me feel cocooned and warm on days when I feel anything but. Even now, when I have a sleepover at my mom’s apartment and I’m tucked into the still pristine bedding and maybe eating iceberg lettuce, I feel like I’m suddenly a small girl that feels very safe and very loved.
As an adult, especially when I’m home alone for the night, my favourite thing ever is to make my bed with freshly laundered sheets and pillowcases. I put on my favourite soft pajamas and then I open my windows, whether it’s warm or cool it’s open window weather most nights in Vancouver. There’s something about the night air that makes the room feel even cleaner, my surroundings feel pure and untouched. I know it seems strange to have this desire for immaculate order when I’m just going to get in bed and tuck in, but that order is what allows me to actually relax and dial down some of the manic energy I carry with me at night. Eating in bed is always accompanied by a book or Netflix, preferably with a glass of wine to round the experience out.
As for favourite meals to eat in bed, it’s a tie between breakfast for dinner and my Best Ever Lemon Risotto. Think food as ultimate comfort; it’s purpose isn’t to weigh you down or distract you, you want to feel lightly soothed both during and after consumption. The best part is that when you eat these foods out in the real world you’ll gently slip back into the warm context of your bedroom, easing your current stresses tremendously.