Come sit down with me, I’ve made some baked French fries – well, sorta. The Celeriac kind (I’m on a celeriac roll for some reason). We can eat our Celeriac chips with our fingers and talk about life. It seems like there’s no better time to talk about life than with good food, greasy fingers and a good friend – and possibly a glass of wine 🙂
It occured to me recently that Joy has the power to make us feel vulnerable safely. Enjoyment makes us more present, and with ease. Connection and sharing bring both lightness and meaning to our souls. As I’m working to reinhabit this blog and reconnect with humans out there cultivating joyful eating and cooking – or wanting to do so – I’m having to learn about keywords and search engines and the like. Yet I can never ignore the depth I see in the seemingly mundane aspects of cooking and eating (and yes, celeriac chips ;). The most compelling argument to cultivate a cooking practice and a meal ritual with our families or with ourselves, is how meaningful an endeavor it is.
I get it, our modern lives are busy, often overwhelming, we’re dealing with family, work, schooling, housework, self-care, it’s a lot. And right now, many are doing it all sans the hugs and close proximity of our support community. So it’s easy to understand a “let’s get dinner over with” attitude. As a single homeschooling mom with a couple jobs, I certainly have those moments too! Since our homeschooling/unschooling journey started at the beginning of the pandemic, it has been a process (read: so darn hard) to find a rhythm to our days and to our life. Lots of trial and error. Still working on it. And it’s ever changing. But the one pillar of our daily life is the creation and enjoyment of our meals.
And through the pandemic, in the loneliest of times, food and cooking has helped me stay connected and feel useful in our community. The secret is: what if what drains us, could feed us – litterally and metaphorically? Those unmet needs we have on a daily basis, for acknowledgement, for connection, for laughter and playfulness, for a shared experience, a sense of agency and competency, for inner calm and presence, what if those need could be met… in the kitchen, chopping an onion or around the table, over a good meal?
In cooking, in parenting, in homeschooling, in life, our mindset does have an impact. That gratitude mindset that can make the difference between misery and contentment. Cooking and good food nourish our bodies. A practicing love of cooking and good food nourishes our souls. And if we practice this love with our children, it will in turn become in their life a source of joy and resilience, rooted in childhood memories of family and warmth.
Have food and cooking been a bucket-filling ressource for you? Tell me. I love those stories.