That Fresh Feeling

May 21, 2007

Last night, I sauteed the last of the kale from the garden with a few onions we pulled up, Christopher rubbed a Rosie chicken with a paste of rosemary and garlic before sticking it on the rotisserie, (we’ve just discovered the beauty of the rotisserie . . . light the grill, skewer the bird and an hour later—voila—you’ve got dinner) and we had ourselves a simple, soulful meal.

It was SO good that it got us talking. I’ve long believed that food is what binds us to the earth, to each other, to ourselves—but I’m reminded of how true that is when I eat a meal like last night’s. The flavors are fresh, yes. But there’s something more. Christopher said that his body feels healthier when we eat like that. I’d add that my soul feels nourished too. It’s like the chatter and buzz of our busy lives subside for a beat and we melt into the moment before us.

Last night’s experience seems especially significant to me as we get closer to bringing Noe home (just a few more weeks!). It may be idealistic, but I don’t want to feed Noe from containers. I don’t want to rush through dinner onto something else more “kid-friendly.” I want from the very beginning to take her to the garden (or farmers’ market) with me as often as I can so she sees where her food comes from. I want to have her bang on pots while I’m at the stove. And I want to be fully present in the moment we all share the meal—whether she’s playing with, throwing or actually eating the food. 

Still forming thoughts around it all . . . good thing this is called “swirling notions” and not “fully baked opinions” ;-).

 

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14 Responses to “That Fresh Feeling”

  1. Kris Says:

    I love this one, Lia, as I am a newer mom and also waited 10 years before deciding that having a baby was important to me. And, let me tell you…it was the most amazing decisions of my life. He owns my heart. Ok…my husband still has a portion too. :) Anyway, we tried very hard to eat nutrionous, organic, not-processed foods before Jake too. We still do a pretty good job but I have to say…it got harder. Time is so precious when both of of work all day. We try to read books, take baths, etc and then “poof”…it is bed time. It is a good reminder to continue to try. 80/20 rule right? Jake now says as we all sit down, “Family dinner.” Even at 20 months, one knows the importance. By the way, for all my friends out there that said “Kids won’t eat that”…well…his 2 FAVORITE things to eat are tomatoes and avocados. Hmmm…I think a few people owe me money. :)

  2. lia Says:

    Kris — that is great! You’re right, we’re not going to be able to live up to our ideals every minute of every day (and I need to remember that), but I think it helps to have a stake in the ground . . . Christopher and I have a saying, “start with the dream, work back to reality,” and I think it applies here.

    The fact that Jake already gets what family meal is at 20 months, and loves tomatoes and avocadoes (so happy to hear that’s a possibility . . . I just planted seven tomato plants in hopes of it!) shows that it’s working for you guys. You’re an inspiration Kris, you truly are. Thank you!

  3. Anne-Liesse Says:

    I once heard that young kids – starting age 2 – that get to sit down at dinner with their parents are less likely to misbehave during teenagehood (I’m translating the idea of being a “délinquant” here and I’m not sure my choice of words is right).

    Gilbert and I have changed our eating habits in the last weeks since I couldn’t not confortably sit on our high chairs in the kitchen for very long. I guess we started setting the table in the dining room when I was 5-month pregnant or so. It means we’ve been having diner there for the past 3 months or so and I do have the feeling we’ve been spending more time talking around our diner than we used to. I cherish these moments as much you do, Lia and I love that thought and sentence of yours – “food is what binds us to the earth, to each other, to ourselves”. Maybe it’s why I’ve been caring more and more about food – its origins, the way it’s cooked, sharing it happily – in the past years.

    It’s funny, too, that your post is about where we get our food as I attended a breastfeeding meeting this morning at the hospital where I’m supposed to have our baby soon. I believe in breastfeeding, but although very informative, the meeting was rather scary about how it difficult and painful it could get. Well, “une femme informée en vaut deux” ! I’ll do what I can….

    PS : I can just picture Noe banging on pots while you’re cooking !
    PS 2 : Gilbert and I drank a Minuty rosé at lunchtime on a sunny terrace downtown Lyon today so I had a special thought for you…

  4. Anne-Liesse Says:

    I meant “dinner”, of course, not “diner”. Gotta proofread that English of mine more carefully !…..


  5. First time visiting your blog, and absolutely loved this post. Nice to meet someone else who “gets” it.

  6. lia Says:

    Thanks Cate . . . good to have you here. I’m looking forward to sharing how it all unfolds as motherhood becomes ‘real’.

    And I’ll be stopping by your blog (sweetnicks.com for others who want to join me) for advice and recipes along the way!

  7. lia Says:

    Anne-Liesse . . . we’ll have a whole new world of recipes and “wine pairings” (“I had a great riesling the other night while I was feeding Noe mashed sweet potato ;-)”) to share soon. Can’t wait!

    PS — deliquant has the same meaning in English — deliquent.
    PPS — Does “une femme informée en vaut deux” mean “an informed woman is worth two?” My French is getting rusty too. Yet ANOTHER reason to go to Lyon! ;-)

  8. Anne-Liesse Says:

    Yes, it does ! Not a lot of people in Lyon speak English ;-( so it would be a good chance to practice your French indeed !

    I keep discovering new blogs everyday, about cooking or else – you people do a great job ! Two of my favorite cooking blogs are http://scally.typepad.com and http:/aturtleinakitchen.blogspot.com, if any of you read French. I’ll make sure to go and check Cate’s blog.

  9. Lisa F Says:

    I too loved this post. I am vacationing in sunny South Dakota, visiting my sister and her family which includes the two cutest nieces on earth – Jillian, 5 and Jasmine, 2. We just finished lunch and every time I am around mothers I find a new respect for them… today it was my sisters phrase of “no feet where we eat” as Jasmine attempted to mash her peaches into the table.

    I am getting to experience how impressionable kids are too. If Mom doesn’t like something, then Jilly doesn’t like it. In kind, if sissie doesn’t like it then it is taboo for Jasmine. Kids pay attention to every little thing and while it seems like a simple concept, a very small detail can leave a lasting impression.

    Suzie, my sister was peeling her peach while I was slicing one for Jilly. Even though Jilly had eaten the skin off of half of a peach already, just by seeing mom do that meant that she no longer liked the fuzzy skin. In asking Suzie why she was peeling away the “best part” (in my vain attempt to reverse Jillian’s take on the fuzz) she said that she’s never liked it and if she were slicing the peach for Jilly she would have skinned it. Hmmm. Had it not been for Auntie Lisa’s visit would Jilly have gone through childhood never experiencing the whole peach – fuzz and all?

    How often does a circumstance like this happen in life, and we unknowingly stop a path of a child by impressing our likes and dislikes on them? I guess it is time to stop waxing philisphical and take advantage of nap time for some rest myself. These little guys are wearing me out! :-) Great blog!

  10. lia Says:

    Lisa,

    Thank you for waxing philosophical ;) — you make a great point! As you say, how often do we unknowingly impress our own perceptions onto children? Great to see you here . . . and ‘bon courage’ for the rest of the weekend!

  11. Catherine Says:

    Hi Lia! I finally made it over–it’s a beautiful blog, and a beautiful post.

    Now more to the topic… I’m a great believer in starting out kids with exactly the kind of food (and ethos) you’re talking about. James is just 12 months old, but he happily eats eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, avocados, and all sorts of other things that aren’t typical “kid” foods. We’ve also made it a practice to include him at all our meal times. Sure, sometimes I’d rather have a quiet meal with Tim after which we aren’t cleaning up a penumbra of crumbs around the high chair, but I 100% believe in the family dinner. (And hey, there’s always babysitting and date night…)

    As for feeding a child from a container, I’m with ya, sistah. But for those extra hectic days, nothing beats the ol’ mac-n-cheese from a box! Very soon, you may become intimately acquainted with Annie’s organic pasta…. :)

  12. lia Says:

    See, I love that! Yes, there are exceptions–quiet nights with the SO, mac-n-cheese (God bless Annie)–but I love the fact that life can work with them being ‘exceptions’ instead of the rule.

    I’ve decided that when we go down to pick up Noe, we’re going to stock up on avos, bananas, mangoes and the like (it IS central america, after all) at the market for her meals (and ours). My thought is, she’s probably not eating baby food now, so why even introduce it?

    Love that you worked in the word ‘penumbra’ too . . . and weaved it in seamlessly to boot. ;-) Thanks for the kudos and inspiration Catherine, and hugs to James and Tim!

  13. Karen Says:

    I used to buy those Rosie chickens, but I don’t seem to find them in St. Louis, for some reason. I’ve had good luck with Smart brand chickens, which are marketed as organic and “air-dried”.

    And, yes, I’m there with you on the pleasures of a simple delicious dinner. There are few things in my life I enjoy more!

  14. lia Says:

    Oooh, I’d love to try an air-dried chicken. Wild. I think Rosie is somewhat regional. I know they’re here in Petaluma, in Sonoma County, so they may only export to a certain distance. You’re one ahead of me, though, if you have local, organic, air-dried chickens. I have to salt and pepper my Rosies and keep them in the fridge a day to “cure.” ;-) Thanks for coming by, Karen!


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