Wow, what joy is to be derived from the simple joy of nourishing and honoring the body! I just spent a week plus cooking three meals a day for 15-20 people. I am not a professional chef and I’ve never been responsible for providing meals on this scale before. It was quite a learning experience!
I was reminded of the simple pleasure of preparing a meal to feed and nurture people with simple, healthy and wholesome ingredients. During time spent in China last year, many of our vegetables came from our garden. The garden had been planted, with much love, before I arrived, with wonderful, fresh water spinach, squash, corn, garlic chives, tomatoes, eggplant and much more! I learned that the very best food is simple and full of love. The plants were healthy and full of essential energy, and made the essences of sun and earth available to us with joy!
As a child in Spain it was always a pleasure to accompany my mother to the market, where we would fill our baskets with fresh peas, peaches, melons, cherries and grapes, and all manner or delicacies brought in by cart from the fields. The honey and butter man would bring freshly churned butter and sweet, gloriously fragrant honey down from the mountains on his cart and deliver them straight to the door. It was my pleasure to sit for what seemed like hours shelling, rewarded by the tiny, sweet peas…What a simple joy!
While cooking last week I felt the pleasure of feeding everyone with joy! Even though there were moments when I felt overwhelmed, there is nothing quite like seeing the dishes emptied of food and scraped clean, followed by contented smiles and happiness from the people who ate each meal. Sometimes the meals weren’t quite as good as I would have wanted them to be… But even the sometimes painful lessons of those meals contributed to the next good meal! I owe so much to my friend and mentor of the culinary arts who taught me the recipes that my mother taught her!