Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The accompaniment of food

I've meant for this blog to be devoted to food, but I've found that I haven't been writing much about food lately (or writing much at all). I think the problem is this...I'm not a cook, but rather someone who appreciates the systems and communities that surround, support or control food. I've spent much of the last 8 months re-thinking how I eat, where I buy my food and how I make my food, to the point that much of what were first new practices have now become habits.

I regularly shop at the farmer's market--every week we buy farm eggs and raw, grass-fed milk from farmers whose practices and ethics I trust. I incorporate raw honey, coconut oil, whole grains, cod liver oil, raw butter and grass-fed meats into our diet regularly. My most recent goal has been to incorporate whole beans into our menu weekly, because I recently read that beans are the most effective cancer preventer (more so than medical treatment). In short, I'm not trying many new things because I'm happy with the diet we've developed. I'm not a food artist, I don't want to regularly try out new combinations, new ingredients and new methods. I just want healthy food. So my focus on food has now become, rather than the leading role of my thoughts, instead an accompaniment to our lives. Micael and I make a good meal on a Tuesday night, perhaps soaking rice or beans the night before and planning our schedules so that we can fit in a trip to the market and a 3 hour bean cooking, all so that we can sit down together and be, together. We're planning our wedding, often talking about logistics and details, often getting excited about family and friends coming to Seattle in August. We're talking about work and school, and our minor excitements or boredoms with either. We're dreaming about the future, about sleeping in on Saturday, about a new record he wants to buy, or a new book I want to read. Food is our accompaniment to all of this.

In reality, I'm also feeling the need for a new challenge. I will graduate from UW in December and I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to move on, but I don't know to what. I want, like we all want, something to make me excited, something to motivate me. I thought, for awhile, that I would do something related to food. But I'm realizing that's not what I want. I appreciate food as the backdrop for our lives, for its essential role in creating physically healthy lives, but it is only one element in a life well lived. I want to continue to explore those other elements--mental, emotional, spiritual, even other aspects of the physical. I want to stop being a student and objectively analyzing how others promote 'the good', 'the moral' or 'the healthy'. I want to dive in and practice what I, after studying so much, truly believe to be the good, the moral, the healthy. I want to stop analyzing, and start believing, in something.

For now, here is a photo of our most recent accompaniment. Black beans and brown rice, chard sauteed in butter, olive oil and lemon, and spicy lamb sausages from Pike Place. All shared eating on our living room floor (we have no space for a table) on a Tuesday night.

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