When they ask beauty queens “If you could change one thing in life, what would it be?” the answers are usually rather grand and involve World Peace and Universal Love. All very admirable but perhaps unattainable, especially if you’re wearing a swimsuit and high heels.
I’d love to enforce world peace and universal love but there’s one other aspect of life which is closer to home, for me, and which I might even be able to influence in some small way. It is the way we provision, cook and eat our meals.
In the next few newsletters and blogs, I’d like to address these three subjects – starting with the way we eat.
Eat On The Run or Eat To Run Later?
We’re all forced to eat on the run from time to time. That will never change. In fact, as life becomes more hectic, it will probably get worse, which makes it all the more important to find times to break that trend.
I’m not alone in believing that to sit down to eat with family and friends, to share this most basic life essential and take the time to enjoy the food and the company, is simply good for the human soul. Eating is more than simple refueling. It’s a chance to take a break from the pressures and craziness of life, the things that prevent us from appreciating that we only pass this way once and that each moment is precious. Eating together can be a celebration of life and love of life, a chance to breathe out and recharge ourselves for the on-going battles we all have to face.
One way to a more fulfilling and relaxed mealtime, to persuade family and friends to sit together around the dinner table, is to cook a really good meal; a truism, perhaps, but one that’s often ignored when the cook throws something together carelessly and is then surprised when everyone eats and runs. But there’s another more important aspect to taking the time to make a meal over which family, friends and guests will want to linger. It’s putting care and thought into the food’s ingredients; discovering that fresh, sustainable and often locally bought foodstuffs are quite simply better-tasting than processed chain store fare. Part of the care and thought is understanding what’s in our food – that many of the additives, preservatives and artificial colors in our food are actively damaging to our health, to such an extent that many are banned in other countries.
If we purchase and prepare our food thoughtfully, with care, attention and love, we’re more likely to want to sit down together and enjoy meals with family and friends – and that is one of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures. Then, when life makes us run again, we’re better prepared to do just that.
In Part Two, I’ll write about how we cook our meals.