Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the gift of food

Carrot soup, salad greens with chopped vegetables and "vinaigretta" salad dressing, naan bread, sparkling apple cider and stem ginger biscuits.  A young man in Gretta's class lost his beloved Dad to cancer about a month ago.  Many of us have been taking turns making dinner for his family.  It is not much, but it is the something we can do to help nourish them and help mend their broken hearts.

Our family keeps a practice of holding hands in silence before we eat dinner. Sometimes we thank aloud the farmers who tend the soil, and watch over the crops as they grow and harvest them when they are ripe.  We thank the truckers, out on the road, late at night, far from their families, bringing that harvest to the cold bound markets of the north.  When we are able to eat locally, we are delighted. We try not to take our food for granted.

Do you know of the Tassajara cookbook series?  I first discovered the Tassajara Bread Book, by Edward Espe Brown back in the 70's (yeah).  This is from his Tassajara Cooking , "The way to cook is to cook...Just feed, satisfy, nourish.  Enter each activity thoroughly, freshly, vitally. Splash!  There is completely no secret: just plunging in, allowing time, making space, giving energy, tending the situation with warm-hearted effort.  The spoon, the knife, the food, the hunger; broken plates and broken plans.  Play, don't work. Work it out."

Let this food bless us,
heal us, balance us,
energize us,
and put us in harmony
with everything good in
the universe.

by Theo Levine and Sonya Heller
From 100 Graces, Mealtime Blessings selected by Marcia and Jack Kelly


  1. I looked at the picture before I read, and thought it was going to be "The Gift of ...Tupperware". I do admire how you invariably find ways to make this big cold world smaller and warmer.

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  3. Thanks Catherine. I know what you mean about this big cold world. But this is how I get around it. There are two kinds of things in this world. Things we have control over and things we do not. The trick is in discerning the difference. Walk on past those things we have no control over. Don't even look back. But pay attention to those things we do have control over. Notice the small things in life, pay attention, give them time and energy. Like cooking a healthy meal, or having a genuine conversation with someone, or being a good steward of resources. These actions will accumulate and grow a sense of purpose and as you say so kindly, create a world that is "smaller and warmer ". Just thinking out loud, hope it makes sense.

  4. Ah, the Tassajara Bread Book! when i went to Oberlin (*whisper* in 1974) i got food poisoning from the cafeteria food first week so joined the Natural Foods Co-op. My sweat equity was to bake bread a couple of times a month. I basically knew how to make bread, but this book truly was my bread-baking bible, both in terms of techniques and ingredients as well as philosophy.

    How lovely and caring to provide that young man and his family with dinner. You're definitely nourishing their bodies as well as their spirits.