Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding Joy on the Plate

Years ago, I was obsessed with the author SARK.  While a bit new-agey, she was inspiring.  Her artistic philosophy centered on drinking life up as fully as possible, imprefections be damned.  Her books are full of bright water colors, charming hand lettered text, and positive energy.   When I was a sophomore in college, someone gave me a SARK desk calendar.  You know the type of calendar that is a chunky block of pages, and you pull off a note card-sized page every day?  In this calendar, each day had it's own aphorism and a little sketch in fat purply lines of ink.  My favorite day that year had a picture of a flag that read: CRABBY and PROUD.  I loved it that that little note gave me permission to be crabby.  To literally, let my crabby flag fly.  So oftentimes we don't want to sit with our feelings and just be.  We want to manipulate them and stuff them down or to drown them by abusing alcohol or food.

But, today I'm trying to sit and be.  I've been a bit off.  My crabby flag has been wisping, nearly listlessly in the wind, against the cold, dull gray sky.  My first reaction at times like these is usually to diagnose the problem, but today I realized that I just needed openness.  I needed to let myself be open to this somewhat mysterious mood of melancholy.  It will go away soon enough.  I have faith.  I have that hope.  Like anything else, this is a phase, a rhythm.

I don't have any recipes for you today.  In fact, Kent noted my crabby flag and has been paricularly nice to me. He's making dinner now, frying brussel sprouts in garlic infused butter and they smell divine!  He also made what he's calling a "pork mummy" that is roasting in the stay tuned for a post about that soon.

What I do have to share with you, though, are food pictures that represent happiness to me.  I've frequently been a drown your sorrows in a pint of ice cream and a massive bar of dark chocolate kinda gal.  Of course that is tempting, but those foods aren't deeply joyful or nourishing, and they lead to regret.  So instead of the typical fattening comfort foods, I want to share with you pictures of foods that have made me deeply joyful.

A bright, drenched with color salad eaten at my desk for lunch.

This salad I made with a lemon hazelnut oil vinaigrette: delicious!

Lingering over a bowl of oatmeal and a good book while wearing my pajamas.

Silly black and white kittens that try to steal my coconut-apricot oatmeal.

The most gorgeous shade of magenta imaginable in a plate of shredded beets.

Unexpected beauty.

How about you?  What food moments have made you feel deeply joyous and nurtured?


Cindy Salo said...

Years ago, a dear boyfriend and I made Magic Quiche: pastry shell, egg mixture, and everything left over in the fridge. "Everything" included tiny shrimp, still-crunchy vegies, and just the right amount of onion to give it a delicious zing. The flavors melded beautifully, as did out hearts.
It was a quiet weekend afternoon at home, assembling and eating a surprisingly delicious meal with a loved one.

Anonymous said...

I love roasted veggies made in the oven with red, orange, green peppers, aspargus, red onion, fresh mushrooms, yellow squash and zuchini. They are very colorful and SOOOOOOOOO good. I love them. They make you feel healthy too. (Instead of the chocolate bar!)

Anonymous said...

My mom gave me three pints of her home-canned peaches. Food made of love, I swear.