Sunday, February 26, 2012

Food: A Serious Topic

I once had a friend who told me that if he could just take a pill that would give him all the necessary nutrients to sustain life, he would give up on eating food altogether. I honestly pitied him for the experiences (or lack thereof) that had led him to feel so apathetic toward food. I, on the other hand, plan to keep eating throughout eternity even if my body no longer needs the sustenance once I'm resurrected.

For me, food is about so much more than sustaining life. It's about savoring tastes, experimenting with new flavors, sharing experiences with friends and family, and creating memories and traditions to be relived over and over. Food is science, art, history, and culture all wrapped up into one tasty package.

I didn't know until a few years ago that not everyone's family regularly discusses things like the sugar content of various types of oranges and the growing seasons of the big vs. small strawberries. I didn't realize that it is uncommon to have so many family traditions that center around eating certain meals on certain holidays. I never considered that for many people family history is not directly connected to knowledge of certain cuts of meat and rare herbs.

But in my family, understanding and appreciating food is essential to living what many call "the abundant life".

I recently came across the following quote: "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." (The Physiology of Taste)

For me, I think there is a lot of truth in that statement. Here are a few recent meals that I've made:

Hash...this simple meal of leftover roast beef pan fried with potatoes is the ultimate comfort food that I remember from my childhood. Sometimes, simple is best. A lesson I'm trying to live by each day.
Piroshki...a tribute to my Russian heritage, and a family favorite since just about forever. I have introduced various roommates to this meal. Every time I make it (like today), I feel like I'm sharing a little bit of my history with those I cook for and understanding my roots a little bit more.

Chicken Asparagus Roulades...a seemingly fancy meal at first glance, but surprisingly fast and fairly simple to make. This is what I made Graham for Valentine's Day this year, and it was somewhat of a leap of faith. I was afraid I would burn it, and I was a little surprised in the end how well it turned out. Like so many things in life, you never know what you can create if you're too afraid to try.

What are your favorite meals? What do they say about you? Link the recipe in the comments if you want. I'm always looking for new things to try.


Jeff said...

I agree. I love food for so much more than just the nutrient content. (Which is evidence by the fact that I am large in stature.)

Many of my favorites are simple ones. Like tater tot casserole. Amazing!

Graham said...

You love tater tot casserole? Me too!

My favorite food is pretty much anything Megan makes.