Food should be loved

While browsing through a beauty focused magazine, I came across this picture of a beautiful platter of oysters with a woman holding a cell phone over the dish.  From the title of the article, I assumed she was taking a picture of it because it looked so yummy, and maybe uploading it to Facebook to make all her friends jealous.  After reading on, I sadly learned that she was taking a picture and uploading it, but only to some website that can determine approximately how many calories that gorgeous platter of oysters had.

You have got to be kidding me.

I do not understand this obsession with food and calories that translates into guilt and fear.  I feel sad for people who have no love for what they eat, but instead worry if it will make them fat. Yes, there is food out there that is higher in fat than other choices, and I agree that you should be very aware of everything you eat and have an idea if it is healthy or not.  But even unhealthy foods can still be enjoyed:   the key is moderation.

This past Monday I made a dinner with Kale (a green from the cabbage family) that was boiled with sausages, bacon and smoked pork chops (all not so healthy).  The reason I made it was I was intrigued with why so many restaurants in the area I live in were promoting “Frisch Grünkohl” (fresh Kale).  After some research, I learned that the dish I was making is a very traditional one served in this area of Germany only.  I also discovered that kale is incredibly healthy for you. It is high in fibre, and a good source of Vitamin A and calcium.

What was even more exciting  to learn was that people plan hikes called a Kohlfahrt (“cabbage walk” not cabbage gas!) with the destination being a pub to devour this dish of green cabbage with sausages, smoked pork chops and baked potatoes, quaffed down with a beer or two.  I highly doubt anyone attending this festivities would snap a pic of their plate and upload it to find out from a website how many calories they are about to ingest.

The point I’m trying to make is that food should be loved, in fact celebrated.  Would I eat green Kale with sausages every night of the week? Heck no. I’m not even sure if I’ll make it again this season. But, when I ate it, I thought of the tradition behind it and simply enjoyed the comfort of such a meal on a cold winter evening.  Afterwards, I went on a walk through our village and enjoyed looking at all the homes sparkling with lights and breathed in the wood-burning scent from all the homes with fireplaces, and thought about how lovely it would be to go on a Kohlfahrt.

I look forward to every meal, regardless if it’s a Monday or Saturday night. I do enjoy eating meat, but over the years have come quite passionate about vegetarian meals and now equally crave a meatless meal. This week I was excited to come across this beautiful white Cauliflower for only 99 cents that I used to make a soup with leftover chicken stock, onion, butter, and yogurt and topped with toasted cumin seeds.  That simple soup not only warmed my body but also my soul.

Food can give good memories.  When we first moved to Germany, there was this restaurant we frequented during the time we didn’t have a house and were forced to have all our meals out.  The restaurant was in an old building with creaky stairs, big mahogany tables and a look like it was still some year in the 1800’s. I ordered steak with French fries, something I very rarely order (in fact, I rarely eat French fries) but for some reason that night I had a craving for such a decadent combination.  Maybe it was my escape from a rather stressful time.  When my meal arrived, on top of the steak was a large dollop of herbed butter.  Nothing could possibly be more fattening then what I was about to eat.  But it all tasted so wickedly good!  When I think back to that meal, I can still hear the vibrant exchange of conversation at the other tables around me, see the snow falling softly outside on a dark evening, and can feel how relaxed and happy I felt.

Food should be loved. If what you eat doesn’t make you feel good, avoid it. If you know what you are eating is high in fat but you love how it tastes, go ahead and enjoy it but just not every day.  Food not only nourishes our body, but also our souls.

And only snap a picture of your meal with your cell phone if you are uploading it to Facebook to make me jealous.

6 thoughts on “Food should be loved

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