December 26 – Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
I have a hard time remembering what I had for breakfast on a given day, let alone what I ate throughout an entire year! Technically, this year could be considered rather disappointing in terms of what I ate given that I didn’t really try anything new or spectacular, I didn’t sample any cuisine in a foreign country, and I certainly didn’t attempt to cook my way through anything like Julia Child’s life work.
I did learn to bake my own bread and continued to make my own jam. These experiences were particularly significant because making things from scratch allows me to connect with food on a level that transcends basic preparation or tearing through a package. Since I’ve tended towards always having a rather unhealthy relationship with food, gathering the ingredients (I pick my own fruit) and then creating something from those separate ingredients makes me feel that I really am nourishing myself as opposed to just feeding myself. I’m amazed at how a gelatinous mound of dough can transform into a crispy, chewy slice of bread after a little bit of time in the oven. When I know where my food comes from, when I participate in the harvest, when I create meals from foods created by nature, there’s a comfort I get that doesn’t come from preservatives or carbohydrates or sugars, it’s the the comfort of knowing that I’ve given myself exactly what I needed, no guilt added.