RE-IGNITE, RE-INSPIRE, RECIPE
Let’s face it: food is everywhere. There is no escaping the fact that we must feed ourselves morning, noon and night. Many of us must not only feed ourselves, but our children and our families as well. Food is at the heart of it all. Just like the kitchen is at the heart of our homes. The two cannot be separated, though I believe that the kitchen is about so much more than just food. It is about togetherness, creativity, joy and laughter, new thoughts and processing. It’s about tea and ritual, dishes and messes, baking for birthdays and holidays.
If there is ever any ice to be broken, I’ve found it can always be done best with food. Food is the ultimate offering and gift. Or perhaps when someone is over and you don’t know each other that well yet— watch the whole experience transform as soon as you set out a plate of fruit and cheese, or crackers and pickles, or nuts and berries … whatever you have on hand is enough.
We must create ritual from our food duties. It is the way we can immerse in it and let it be wholly nourishing for us. If we can bring it in as a ritual of grace and view food as a communion with ourselves and those we love, then we are well on our way to deep happiness.
As women, we are so hungry for connection and community. We long for gatherings of women and feelings of sisterhood (much like we cultivate here in Fierce Grace). Nothing binds together a gathering, a circle, or a connection quite so much as sharing food. I think that over eons of history, it is food that has so often bound women and families together. There is other connection, of course, but at the root of it, there is always food.
In our homes, we nourish ourselves in many ways. There is food, and there is rest; there is waking up each day to a new morning and to new possibilities. There is laughter late at night with people we love. Home is where we return to when we need to heal, when we are worn out, and when the rest of the world is too much to bear. There is so much nourishment in our homes. It’s in our beds, in our cupboards of tea or medicine, in the fruit bowl on the counter. However we take care of our bodies and spirits, it all starts at home. And so much of it is held together by food.
If a child comes home grumpy and edgy, sometimes I will gather my wits and remain as peaceful as possible, all while setting food out, quietly on the table. I won’t say, “eat this!” I just set it out so that he sees it. And soon enough, he eats it. And with each bite, the vibration changes. Or if a friend comes by needing support, I make tea right away.
Our homes give us a beautiful space to nourish ourselves. The board to cut on, the stove to simmer our soups, the oven where we bake, roast, and toast. Here is where we feed our bodies and in doing so, our hearts. And here is where, even unknowingly, we gather.
I love gathering recipes. Some of them look so amazing and I never get around to making them, as I stick so often to my tried and true dishes. And some of them I try once and forget about, or some of them make their way into my mental repertoire. How do you gather recipes? Do you have a box or a book that you add your own? Do you have a favorite cookbook, or do you always cook from the heart and head?
Gather recipes this week and find something new. A really fun way to do this is to ask a friend to send you a photo of her favorite recipe and you send one in return. The modern recipe swap! Or you can dig through books or Pinterest and find something that calls to you. If there are others in your home, ask them if they have any new dishes in mind, or with children, you can look for recipes together to see what inspires the little ones.