My Primer on Food Relationships (Practices of Eating)
Thank you for joining me on the series 'Practices of Eating.' Here we go with my own primer/view on eating & food.
This month marks six years since being a stay at home mom. One thing which was true then is still true now...laundry, dishes and cooking...never stop. I could quite literally go forever without cleaning up clutter, sweeping the floor, or cleaning the bathroom. Granted, I'm not going to test that theory, as I find neglecting those after a while are kind of disgusting. Yet, it's not going to stop time or anything if they don't get done.
Laundry, dishes and cooking on the other hand, we need all those things to keep going. Clean clothes, dishes to eat off of and food to eat are essentials in my mind. I happen to fall in the later camp.
I'm an eating gal.
I place more of my energy and thought into what I can cook up. What special baked good can permeate our home with warmth and smell? Sure, we keep up with the dishes and laundry is iffy; but, if there was only one chore to pick from...it would be cooking & baking.
Years back, when V was a toddler and Tay was a baby, my mother-in-law was hosting Easter at their house. Years before we had gone out for brunch; however, the meal was always kind of hit or miss. This year, my father-in-law suggested, "Maybe Kamille would like to cook Easter brunch?" My sweet mother-in-law, who would have cooking at the bottom of her list said, "Oh, I don't think she would want to do all of that. That sounds miserable!" Well, to her it sounded miserable; but, to me it meant Grandma keeping her grandkids company, while I created in the kitchen. It was a win-win!
You see, for me, a lot of eating is in the creating. It begins with flipping through cookbooks, conjuring up flavor profiles, and scouring Farmer's Markets for what's in season. I love Alice Waters approach to cooking, allowing the season's bounty to be your guide. In her book, The Art of Simple Food, she talks about how food is the winner of her meals, not her culinary prowess necessarily. Granted, I'm sure Waters is being a bit humble, but she has a point.
It can speak truth & life, or lies and death. It can divide or unite. It can bring fond memories or painful ones. We all have a specific relationship with food, with eating. Even in the midst of my less than moments in my own eating relationship, I want to encourage you to see this as gift. I want you to delight in the whole process. The picking up those August sungold tomatoes and smell in the soil and sweet, sticky green, while biting into what is reminiscent of nature's candy. The chopping and stirring and roasting.
Because, food & eating are to be both abstained and enjoyed at times. This gift many of us take for granted, can be hell for others. I don't pretend to know all there is in the realm of food disorders and debilitating illnesses making eating drudgery. What I do know is how we can either use this gift or abuse it. We can either come to the table with understanding where other people are coming from or ignore it. We can begin to allow the shackles to fall, the styes healed and see that Jesus came to abolish food regulations. He became the bread & wine for us to take part in.
Fitting it's Holy Week I think.