It's November and just like that everyone is telling you what they're thankful for. (Thank you social media.) Although you might be happy when you have money to buy a few extra things at the grocery store this week, have you taken a moment to truly be thankful for your food specifically? I took a moment this morning to analyze my life, what I eat and how I treat it and here's what I decided:
We live in a world where society is always looking for the next best thing. We want bigger foods and we want to make TV shows about giant 12-layer hamburgers. We want to make food precious and artful. We want to display it and make it almost too good to eat. We're going back to our roots and trying to cook more, trying to put more of us in the dishes that make it to our table. Food is entertainment. Food is love.
In my own life I've recently tried to learn more about the balance of eating what I want, when I want, and weeding out processed junk to help eliminate crazy cravings that leave me elbow deep in a box of cheesy poofs (licking cheese powder off your fingers is almost cute, but licking it off your elbow, yeah, not so much).
For years, I spent a great deal of time heading to the store, picking up ingredients to make things that celebrity TV chefs told me I wanted to make. And I did... I wanted to make them. But with such a great focus on food in your life, the blessing that it actually is to be fulfilled and sustained by nourishing ingredients fades away.
Instead, it becomes a sport or a hobby and the focus is on the final dish and although you might be grateful for it, that doesn't mean that you've really taken a second to analyze how it came into your life. That you're sitting there eating homemade pad Thai or a salad with fifteen beautiful ingredients in it. You went to work, you suffered through boring staff meetings, you waited for the government to take their cut and finally you have a check in your bank that says you can buy food.
In my life, my focus has shifted from wanting to make a million meals and always wanting to make the latest and greatest food find to focusing more on the humility that comes with being able to purchase ingredients in the first place and being able to use them to the best of my ability so that they might truly take a spotlight in my life. I'm not one to talk about sustainability, although it's important. Today, I'm just grateful to have food in general.
Over the next month we'll be taking a look at many things we're grateful for, and although I'd love to tell you how thankful I am for learning to use a bench scraper or for my beautiful stand mixer, and I'm sure that day will come, today I wanted to say that I am thankful for food. For the creativity it allows us and for the common ground it gives us all to share of ourselves.
Related: Weekend Meditation: It Doesn't Always Have to be Fabulous
(Image: Flickr member Little Blue Hen licensed for use by Creative Commons)