One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is that we are doing and devote our attention to eating- Luciano Pavorotti
I love food. I love to eat it. I love to cook it. I love to talk about it. I love feeding my friends and family. I enjoy going to specialty food stores so I can take in the atmosphere of freshly made organic food. I love farm stands and bakeries. I also love shopping at my local grocery store because the prices are just right for my budget. I love trying out locally owned cafés. Their food is a passion and not a process. I do love my Starbucks too; the baristas always make my soy lattes with loyal dedication!
Food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food is a celebration. Food is love. I guess this is why I cannot understand why we as a culture treat food as an afterthought. I often wonder if we have lost the “taste” for a calm repast. I have observed people shoving food into their bodies while driving or sitting in the car. Or even standing in line! No one seems to take the time to sit and enjoy something tasty and nourishing. And it also seems that the preparation of food is a stressful inconvenience.
I guess this has become a part of 21st century American living, hasn’t it? Have we lost the desire to take care of ourselves by not eating healthy snacks or preparing nutritious meals? Why are we not allowing ourselves the time to digest a wondrous and delicious delight? How do we feed ourselves and loved ones without breaking the bank or feeling resentful because the responsibility for meal planning is not a team effort?
Too many of us lead ridiculously busy lives that are jammed packed with “must-do” activities for our children and ourselves. Work schedules and end of the day fatigue interfere with timely and thoughtful preparation for dinners. By then “primal hunger” has kicked in and, there we are, eating out of a bag or box while we either wait for dinner to finish cooking or the take out to be delivered!
I surely have been guilty of this myself. Just recently, I had to eat “on the run” because my evening was filled with appointments and meetings. And a mere two nights ago, I grabbed a wrap at a sub shop with my son so we would be on time to see a lecture by a favorite author. Now, let me tell you, both meals were delicious! The former was a turkey, bacon (oh gosh, so bad!) and avocado whole wheat sandwich from Whole Foods. And the second was a hot pastrami sandwich. I haven’t had the latter since 1985! It was a shame, though, that I did not take the time to sit for a bit and enjoy the whole experience.
Feeding ourselves, friends and family needs to be a holy act- a communion. I have warm memories of my friends inviting me for dinner at times when I was too emotionally impacted to feed myself. My spirit was fed as well as my stomach. Believe it or not, today I am feeding people at three different times for three different reasons. This morning I got a phone call from my oldest son saying that he was in an accident. He was a passenger in a car that was traveling on a highway. Despite the fact that the car spun around 180 degrees, it managed to hit the guardrail in the breakdown lane without involving other vehicles and without any injuries! I quickly went to pick him up, bring him home and provide a bit of sustenance to him, his girlfriend and their friend. My youngest son’s work as an apprentice plumber is physical labor. This week he worked long hours plus an extra day today. When he called to say he was on his way home and hungry, a warm meal was waiting for him. Tonight, a dear friend will be having dinner with me. I love to cook for her! She spent three decades cooking for her large family and misses those times with her sons. She and I will enjoy the company of one another while having a home cooked meal and a glass of wine.
I hope dear readers that you too will continue to partake in the joys of your next meal. Eat Well. Love Well. And Be Well.