Welcome to the November edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival – Enjoyment cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. This month, we write about food and how we simplify things related to it in our lives. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.
I’m in the kitchen watching my twins play on the floor with pots and utensils as I prepare dinner with my older kids. It’s raining outside and I can hear the relaxing sound of the drops on the windows as counterpoint to the beat of spoons on pans.
My kids and I create a harmony with the shuffle of feet, the chop of the knife on the cutting board, and the small words used to consult our place on the recipe card.
We’ve assembled and prepped all of the ingredients. They lie in close proximity to cutting board and stove: bright orange carrots, blood red tomatoes, spring green peas and the rest of a rainbow of food so delicious we’ve already been eating our way through the stores. Spices invite us to breathe deeply and begin.
Every so often we laugh spontaneously in that knowing way people do when they are so comfortable in creating together that the joy bubbles up and out. None of us have made this dish before, and will will need our full attention. While some of us drift away to rock a baby or take a break, others of us pick up the groove.
I know that their father will be home soon. I imagine him driving safely closer toward us, willing our companionable flow to reel him in to share with us. Thinking of the world outside of our little kitchen, reminds me of all the things I have yet to complete this day. I feel my stress rise and my knife threatens to slip.
I remember to breathe, coming back to the present with my children, to whom being fully engaged in the moment comes so naturally. I pay attention to each slice of carrot, each chunk of potato. I rejoin my children in our guided cooking meditation. I take pleasure in this precious time of peace without worrying about how rare these times without bickering are.
So, this precious meditation proceeds as practices do, with wandering minds and returns to center. I can feel the best and the worst in myself and my children. It’s a fragile thing that can explode into wild energy at any moment, but for now, there is no tension.
This meal is selfless service we give to each other. It is as impermanent as the leftovers, if there are any. So, it is a lesson in humility.
Later, my son asks me why we did so much work when the food is all eaten in one night. I smile and say that it is not the food that is the important part, but the work we did together to prepare it. I say, “The laughter we shared made the bubbles in the pot.” He seems content with my reply.
The harmony we created was the spice that made our meal delicious. And there are always, always the dishes to bring us together again.
Do you cook with you children? Do your children cook for you? How do you see the gift of cooking in your family? I would love to hear from you.
- Seeking Balance – At Sagetribe, Kelly speaks about how their journey as a family has very much been marked by their journey into finding and learning about real food. From veggie burgers made and immediately frozen to homemade breads and cheeses, they’ve found the best way to find balance in their food story, is to keep simple ingredients on hand.
- Keeping Holiday Food Simple – At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares how her family has developed a holiday tradition with food that allows her family to enjoy the day rather than slaving away.
- Grain-Free Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup Recipe – A hearty and delicious crock pot soup recipe helps to simplify food planning and preparation for any family. Amy at Anktangle shares her tried-and-true recipe for loaded baked potato soup—made without any grains or flours. What’s more: it freezes well for reheating later!
- Feeing a Family in the Middle of Nowhere - At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about the many ways she has found over seven years of living in the middle of nowhere to feed her family paleo.
- The Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Taste – Zoie at TouchstoneZ sees cooking with her family as a mindfulness practice and as service to her family.
Share your posts on simplifying meals, great simple recipes, healthy eating, and more. Just link up any old or new posts between now and December 19, 2013.
Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than formatting, proof-reading, researching or editing as much as I’d like. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)