Our family has looked at food as not only a source of nutrition but also as a means to bond. My love of growing/raising good food has been a life long pursuit. It was a no brainer to me that I would teach our children to appreciate and respect what fueled them. Involvement in planting, weeding and harvesting from the garden to feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals was required. We were always looking for ways to make our mealtimes fun and educational(and still do) We like to make our family dinners interactive with as much involvement as possible.My kids would ask that I leave the education part out, especially now as they have grown into great adults. The words Mom, seriously!!!!!!, pops up on occasion. But a mom's gotta do what a moms gotta do!
Our recent endeavor has been to host dinners that include vittles from different countries. So out comes the spinning globe, eyes closed and fingers pointing. Wherever the finger lands, is the country of choice. We then section the meal into appetizers, meats, veggies, pasta, desserts and drinks. All of the a fore mentioned go into a hat and the fun begins. Did I mention that this is an extended family event. Sisters, brothers, cousins, sisters in law, brothers in law, grandmothers, grandfathers and the odd extra person that may be hanging around. After the menu has been divided up, the chatter begins. iPhones come out and start researching. I have taken the time to watch my children, nieces and nephews and am moved by the relationships I see growing and changing. I see them conversing, creating and developing.They have a common thread that they are working towards as they prepare the recipe of their choice. There may even be a slight and friendly competition in the dish they are responsible for. I have watched this food thing create generosity, laughter, creativity and the ability to work together. Not to discount the fantastic tastes, smells and beautiful dishes they conjure up. I am amazed at the diversity of fare and feast they bring to the table. I watch them get their hands into the preparation, listen to the easy chatter and watch little groups form. There are the crazy aunts who always seem to initiate eye rolling from the younger generation and the men who who have quiet discussions on varied topics . A pleasant scene to someone looking in from the outside.
It takes work to make a family stay together. It takes involvement for a family to stay together. These events that we have do not happen unless everyone pulls together. My hope through all of this is that our family can appreciate one another. We are all different and have an odd assortment of likes and dislikes. It is these oddities that we have come to appreciate. Sure, we have our moments . But all in all a wonderful group of people if I do say so myself. Through all our get togethers it has always been food that has been the bait to entice. What has been a meal that was mainly cooked by the moms and dads has evolved over the years to include everyone. This inclusiveness, I believe has helped to create some pretty wonderful cooks who appreciate and have an equal amount of love and respect for the food they work with and isn't that we we want our future to look like.
As parents we wish for our children and our children's children to appreciate, respect and expect quality food. They are the mainstay behind the change we see happening in our food system. They will and are demanding that the present state is not acceptable and will be the force to alter the skewed food format we presently have. A simple but strong Bravo goes out to those who will accept nothing but the best. Keep on keeping on, be relentless! Our future depends on your perseverance. Heavy words I know, but I have nothing but the greatest respect and belief in the younger generation to restore the present practice of agriculture. Each time you purchase quality, sustainable eats, you vote for change.
So..... here's to our family that keeps us together and here's to your family that keeps you together and here's to the food that glues us together!