Friday, November 13, 2009

Food - is it all about me? Not anymore.

I often think of food as a communication tool. If you ask women, particularly, to think of their relationship with food, the response is usually in terms of the personal: how much is eaten or ingested, how it is personally satisfying, or how many calories and the repercussions of indulgence. After decades of food=me=mood, it's a relief to realize that as I’ve gotten older, my own ego-centric view of food has shifted outward to consider it as more a social medium than something so specifically personal. Food is something we do as much as it is something we consume. Food sets a mood, creates a tone, and invites community.

Think about walking into someone’s home, perhaps for a party, and the aroma of something cooking in the kitchen greets you before you have a chance to take off your coat. Food is atmosphere. It is setting. It’s as much a part of the environment as the host’s living room furniture and potted plants. Food serves a purpose. It welcomes us home. It celebrates a marriage or birth, and it soothes a grieving soul.

Do you ever wonder why it is that we respond to life's most significant events with food? We bring a lasagna to a family with a new baby, or a cake to a reception after a funeral. There’s always too much, but it is exactly enough because the food brings more than the servings it provides. Delivered with a casserole or a bundt cake is the message “I care. I want to nourish you at this important time. You are important to me.”

I am so glad that I see food differently at this stage in my life, and I feel fortunate to share occasional recipes for my food, and my thoughts about it, with you.

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