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the study & love of food

9 June 2013

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garlic – feijoas – heirloom tomatoes

I have always had a healthy relationship with food and was raised on good, simple meals that provided sustenance and energy for an active and studious childhood. But that relationship has started firing on all cylinders since my elimination diet last year after which I became gluten-free. The appreciation is becoming a passion, defining moments in our travels, an expansion of our tastebuds and knowledge, and a let’s-get-even-healthier crusade.

The benefits and satisfaction of mostly homemade meals, seasonal produce and quality animal products are even more in focus as I expand my skills, confidence and knowledge in the kitchen. I wish I could bottle and share the inspiration and gratitude I feel from my weekly market visit – sometimes I want to hug the farmer when I excitedly discover what leafy greens he has that day. When another farmer hands me change with dirt under their fingernails and says “these were picked yesterday” or offers a cooking tip, I am so grateful to the local families who bring us this nutrition.

Together my husband and I absorb tv shows and documentaries and attend interesting lectures and cookbook launches. My own explorations include books and blogs which we then discuss over dinner or on our walks. I’m not one for blindly (ha!) following trends so together we determine where we stand on food issues in a way that works for us. It’s a big study and I often remind myself not to be overwhelmed by information, (and misinformation) or conflicting ideas. I think it’s really important to walk away from information gathering if it gets too stressful and to never forget common sense or just listening to one’s body. Stress will undo the goodness of the best of food. Currently I’m focused on tuning into the rhythms of seasonal plant foods. I’m buzzing with excitement at this deepening relationship.

How is your relationship with food or cooking? Do you also determine your own food practices amongst all the information/misinformation/trends? Have you come across any great books, shows or documentaries lately?

13 Responses
  1. June 10, 2013

    In the ten years of our marriage, I have spent most of my time discouraged about cooking and disliking it. Because I disliked it, I didn’t spend any extra effort doing it, so the dishes I produced were adequate but nothing special. This resulted in no feedback from my family, which further discouraged me.

    This spring, however, as my eyesight has been worse, I’ve discovered a new passion for cooking that I never had before! Possibly because I quit trying to see what I was doing, I get much less neck pain from peering at odd angles. I mostly prep by feel, and it works great! I enjoy the taste of foods and have been trying new and challenging foods, like injera for my Ethiopian daughter. I’m surprised at myself, since I figured I’d always dislike cooking. Now to enjoy my time in the kitchen has been a treat!

  2. June 10, 2013

    Incredibly beautiful photos! And you offer a good reminder to not get overwhelmed by all the food information. I love fresh produce and shopping at the farmer’s market, but struggle with the preparation. I love to cook for special occasions but less so everyday. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. June 10, 2013

    Thoughtful words, useful links and beautiful photos as usual!

    We are always trying to eat seasonally as well as home grown/home made/home butchered. As much as I love a good cook book and food blog I tend to cook with whatever is on hand, being as frugal as possible. The more confidence I gain in the kitchen, the more satisfied I am and the feedback from my family helps too. Happy cooking!

  4. June 10, 2013

    Love this. I feel like I’m doing more of this since being OS and coming home. We have recently ordered a weekly delivery of seasonal and organic produce and it’s so fun recieving it each week and seeing what we get. We can alter within a set amount so we always swap a few things if we have too many and pick other favourites. I can’t remember the last time I ate something processed and it’s so much nicer. Now I just need to focus on cutting out sugar and alcohol…

  5. June 11, 2013

    I love the River Cottage too. Very inspiring and I try to cook with seasonal produce (not the imported stuff).

  6. June 11, 2013

    I am also glad to farmers who make these veggies and fruits available for other people. :) I am not really good at cooking but I always make sure I know what I cook whenever I find myself deciding what to cook. I am such a fan of greens :)

  7. Megan permalink
    June 11, 2013

    Loved your description of the farmer’s “just picked” produce being given to you by the hands that tended the growth :)
    What we eat is based on whatever is in season and is vegetarian except for the occasional piece of fish because my husband did not want to give that up. I get inspiration from vegetarian and vegan websites such as The Happy Herbivore and Oh, She Glows and loved The River Cottage when Hugh did the vegetarian series.

  8. June 12, 2013

    Buying from the producers is so much rewarding and exciting than buying food from the supermarkets and making your own food from scratch allows you to have a much more varied diet. As you know I share your passion and interest in food.
    Sarah x

  9. June 12, 2013

    I am so lucky that my husband loves to cook! We eat well and are gradually growing a little more of our own which is very satisfying..wonderful photographs as always.

  10. June 12, 2013

    Great photos. My relationship with food and cooking grows stronger every year. Baking was my gateway drug into cooking. working with ex-caterers broadened my recipe horizons. The more active times of my life I gravitate towards more fiber and veggies, etc. But even the slower paced time, I can only go so far into the realm of Sugarland before feeling gross and backtracking to some better options. Everything in moderation I suppose.

  11. Mireille permalink
    June 13, 2013

    I just linked into your blog from another favourite spot – Happyolks (stories and recipes for happy folks). I’ve carted around and have enjoyed each of the posts I’ve read – and have loved EVERY ONE of your glorious photographs! Your perspective is unique and beautiful, and your attitude is lovely. Thank you for all that and for the information you share.
    You are helping many to really see and understand the relationship we all have with food in our lives – and its role in health and wellbeing. As your journey continues, may every day open new treasures of love and happiness for you.
    With appreciation for the inspiration,
    Mireille

  12. June 16, 2013

    This is beautiful. I am reflecting on a client that I referred to a dietitian for her eating disorder … I love that one of her assignments now is to create a garden – a simple, small garden with a couple plants that she loves and nurtures as she changes her relationship to food in a healthy way. xoxo – I know I eat way too much sugar but continue to try to incorporate more loving, healthy foods in there :) .

  13. June 16, 2013

    I’m still trying to figure out interesting recipes that I can eat. It’s easy to look at a cookbook and go “Oh, that caters for all of my allergies” but sometimes I still get sick and I still don’t know why. As a result we stick to pretty basic stuff most of the time. It keeps us fed, so neither of us mind too much!

    x Jasmine

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