Eating well in good or bad times

jacki-message1 (27K)
When I was young we were called to the kitchen table (at least once) daily to share a meal and our stories. My mother, although she worked every day, prepared a hot meal for us to enjoy as a family. She wasn't the best cook in the world but she knew that a nourishing, home cooked meal would give us the nutrients we needed to grow bigger and stronger. She said that feeding our brains would help us get good grades in school (bad grades were not allowed!), keep us from getting sick, and make us all more beautiful.

While getting together at the table wasn't always about the food (sometimes it was about trying to get my brother to shoot milk out of his nose by telling a well-timed joke), the kitchen table became a central and safe location for my family.

In most cultures around the world, sharing a simple meal is considered a celebratory event. Food is considered sacred and sharing it, an act of love. I am not sure why but, in this country, we limit our "sacred" culinary gatherings to weddings, funerals, birthdays, and the like. The rest of the time we eat in haste in order to get it over with while attending to "more important matters" (usually watching television or playing on the computer). In these hard times, we need something more.

It is easy to understand how this has happened. If you pay attention to "conventional wisdom", cooking a meal is a time-robbing hassle that makes your house smell--and oh, the drudgery!

The school system doesn't choose to allocate the resources to teach home economics anymore.

The pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars annually by selling pills that cure illnesses that, with proper diet, can be eliminated (or, to a large extent, minimized).

We have more food at our disposal than most countries in the world and we are refusing to eat it. I have met many people who say they "don't eat vegetables" as if that was a badge of honor. I believe that most people don't know what to do with vegetables, save boiling them to within an inch of their lives!

My father loved rich foods and introduced me to a lot of them. Later in life, he became seriously ill. His doctors told him to change his entire diet (overnight!) in order to prolong his life. Faced with the prospect of eating only pablum and vegetables, he said he would rather die.

Sadly, I understood what he meant. Making big changes all at once is a difficult thing to do. However, making a series of small changes can make a world of difference. We don't have to eat what I call "orthopedic food" to be healthy and live well. Food, like life, can have savor and spice--that's what I intend to demonstrate on this web site.

We read in the newspapers that good food is expensive. Not really, especially if you put everything into perspective. Let's try spending less on blood pressure medicine and diet pills and eat some real food. You only get one body to accompany you through this life. Take good care of it, and it will give you (and that Special Someone) lots of pleasure, for years to come.

I am inviting America to return with me to the table, to experiences the pleasures of eating well. The journey we are embarking on with this web site is exploring how to prepare delicious foods and snacks in a way that doesn't involve a great deal of time, energy, or money. It is essential to eat well in both good times and bad--and its simple to do. Let's put the love back into eating, and then let that love spill over into other areas of life. It's simple, and fun, and anyone can do it.

Stick with me and we'll explore how!