Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Simplicity: Food, Meals, and Beauty II

I’m too often guided by whim. In an effort to simplify, I’ve been working on building a pantry full of food to add to our garden produce (mainly eggplant and tomatoes) to make a variety of foods that are simple, beautiful, healthy, and interesting. I want beautiful meals - meals that are more than just one dish, meals that are bright and sensual and satisfying in a holistic way, we will be less inclined to go out, or to run to the store “for just a few things” every other day. The biggest trouble is refrigeration, we can’t keep perishables for more than a day or two without ice. We’re still in the market for a used propane fridge, a small one, with just enough room for a couple leftovers, a few quarts of milk, and yogurt. The trouble with me is, I let this little limitation affect my attitude toward meal prep. I allow my mealtime aesthetic to be damaged by a simple limitation, one that a majority of cooks in the world, and throughout history have shared.

        Another limitation is financial, we aren’t wealthy, and I often want food that really isn’t within our budget. But planning meals well, and using the space I have to store ingredients that do keep is the best way to deal with that frustration. In the summer, with access to my own garden, I try to craft meals around what I have access to: eggs, tomatoes, summer squashes, eggplant, herbs, and others.

The point really isn’t to have an overwhelming variety of meals, but to have beautiful, filling, healthy meals. Meals that bring us together around the table with flickering lamps, good conversation, and love.

        My attitude toward our meals has been evolving, in a subtle way. The ideas are the same but the feeling behind them is growing stronger. I’m planning a winter of hearty soups, crusty bread, preserves, good cheeses, and an abundance of pork.

1 comment:

  1. Yarrow looks like she's gorging herself on some of that good food...except there isn't any food.