I had a moment of unglamorous clarity recently. At dinner one day, I suddenly became conscious I was eating beans, straight from the can, while standing up and trying to type an email. While such scenarios happen more often than this bachelorette would like to admit, in that moment I realized while much of my life centers on food – the growing, quality, politics, nutrition, preparation – I could do a better job of bringing these lessons home with me.
Suddenly several dozen memories of myself eating peanut butter from a spoon and calling it “a meal” came to mind. (Spoonfuls of peanut butter are great, for the record. I’m getting at something else here.)
I’ve noticed that when I’m cooking for other people, I enter into the full joy of it and have a ball. When I am just cooking for myself, I rarely get beyond scrambled eggs.
Having people at my dinner table makes me plan, prepare with intentionality and love; to sit down and enjoy. Or at least, to put the canned beans into a bowl before I eat them.
In my opinion, I think a lot of the worlds’ problems can be solved by eating homemade meals with others. We are forced to get out of our heads, to get busy with ingredients, and to share our time and bounty with others. It’s this love-laboring, these tiny acts, that add up to a great deal in the grand scheme of things.
So this week, I have a challenge for you…
If you normally eat alone and on the run:
CHALLENGE #1: Invite a few friends for a meal. Make something you’ve never made, use real plates and silverware, linger at the table. Bon Appétit!
And if you are reading this and are a parent of what feels sometimes like eighteen children, and eating alone sounds like heaven:
CHALLENGE #2: Create a meal for one and go all out – get a babysitter, make something you really like, use cloth napkins. Sit. Breathe. Enjoy.
And afterwards, come back here and let me know how it went in the comments. Impress me with your insight or make me laugh out loud and I will send you a small gift in the mail! (Offer is good between now and next Tuesday March 26th)