The preparation of food, to me - is therapy. It is an art form all on it's own. No, I am not a chef... I am just a mom with a family to take care of and somebody that was raised with an appreciation and gratitude for the experience of sitting down at a table with loved ones, in front of a meal which was made from scratch by hands that cared enough to go the extra mile.
I have been cooking since I was 11 years old and as I sit here now as a 40 year old woman, I have YET to grow tired of it. No, I don't always blog about it - in fact, of late I have done very FEW foodie posts, but my passion for my "office" (aka the kitchen) will never die!
Earlier this evening, my 11 year old son made a request at the dinner table whilst eating. He was eating the last leftovers from the spaghetti bolognaise I made the other night (his favourite) and he asked "mom, I need you to write down the ingredients for your bolognaise and how to make it before I am 21" to which I responded, no - I will teach you how to make it, then YOU will make it and it will be in your mind forever! He agreed.
A simple moment, but it made my heart SMILE! I look around me these days and SO FEW people know how to cook for themselves and even fewer value the importance of this! Everything is "instant this" and "ready made" that. If they simply took a moment to READ the label of this "HEALTHY" convenience meal - they may perhaps choose a different direction for their dinner that night.
Then again, so much today is about convenience that the "consequence" has pretty much become an adaptation of the lifestyle itself which is great and all - until it is YOUR family member that is in hospital dying of cancer or has some other critical health complication. THEN, "everyone" is ready to listen! A very sad reality!
In a world which is literally RIDDLED with stress, we should make an effort to "find time" (or create it) for the therapy that is food.
Yesterday, I decided to do a pork stuffed roast for dinner. It was Sunday, the weather was "moody" and we were all pretty laid back. For me it is a process - therapy. Put the music on, pour a glass of wine and start prepping.
I love every SINGLE step of it! I giggled at the response of @galenkp who thought I had done a blog post about "said chicken" and the fact that even uncooked it looked great. Personally, I have always preferred the "raw" uncooked part of the process in terms of photography. The colours are brighter and it gives you a leaning inclination as to "what is to come". If I am not blogging about it, I will mostly forget to photograph the "finished product" lol... which much to his disappointment, I did yesterday. Heading back to the kitchen now because apparently the naughty corner is fully occupied already.
I also received a request by @intothewild to do a "steak and eggs" post and that DEFINITELY got my attention for the simple reason that I love a challenge and turning a "basic favourite" into something ABOVE and BEYOND is right up my alley!
For tonight though, I opted for lamb chops. Not something we eat all that often simply because they are ridonculously expensive - but "once in a blue moon" it really is the treat of treats!
I am very much a "rustic" foodie in the prep department and I like to leave things as close to "just as they were" as I can get. Many people fry their chops, but the only thing you will find me frying these days is an egg (pretty much). I will roast, bake or grill most things now. Tonight being no exception... the veggies always roughly chopped, the garlic cloves left unpeeled, the onions whole and no shortage of full twigs and leaves in the mix lol.
I grow things so that I have the blessing of adding them to the things I cook. There is something special about grabbing things straight from the garden and adding them to your culinary adventures. My "little" delve into paganism as a young teen has left with me the habit of vocally expressing thanks to the plants I cut as and when I use them - a "ritual" I have deep appreciation for... much like the grace we say (or should say) at the table every night before we consume the meal in front of us.
As much as we are living breathing beings, so is everything we eat. No, I am not vegetarian nor vegan - but that does not mean I don't hold a great appreciation and thanks for ALL that I consume on a daily basis. The preparation of food and the consumption of such is therapy in itself if you choose to stop for a moment and envelope yourself in the experience.
My son learned a "grace" at pre-school some years back (he is 11 now) and being a pretty "non-religious" individual - I fell in love with it and it is a frequent at our table.
Blessings on the blossoms, blessings on the fruit. Blessings on the leaves and stems and blessings on the roots - Amen.
Our lives are filled with moments. Unless we add value to those moments they will simply pass us by and in 20 years time we will suddenly wake up to how "MUCH" we have lost simply because we didn't take a moment to BE STILL, BE PRESENT and ENJOY IT ALL!
Earlier tonight I served my dad his lamb chops and roast veg. If I am blogging about the "food that night" - then the person that receives that first plate is the one that gets "the art food" plate lol. As Jude joked whilst watching me prep it - "that is normally my plate hey mom" - I set my dads plate on the outside table so he could enjoy his meal in the spot which allows him to look upon the beauty beyond. My dad does not drink, but next to his plate was a "shots worth" of red wine served in a dessert wine glass. He asked "and the wine?!" to which I responded - well, you can't very well have the "art food plate" and not have any of the "extras" which complete the experience!
... food is not simply organic fuel to keep body and soul together, it is a perishable art that must be savoured at the peak of perfection.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri
Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
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