Monday, 31 March 2014

Dinner for One? Never!

I feel a certain joy when I sit down at a table and see a good meal in front of me. I often wonder if I eat to live or live to eat. Coming from a big European family, meals have always been elaborate feasts that included everything from a simple appetizer to a wonderful dessert. I grew up sitting around the dining room table.
Our table
Photo by Audrey Bresar
Food in its most basic definition is any substance you eat that provides your body with the nutrients in order to survive. A boring definition in my opinion because it is so much more. The smell, taste and appearance of a well plated entree does more than just satisfy your body's need to survive. All these senses mix and dance together to create a sensory experience that triggers happiness and joy. Of course, there are days we are each reduced to stuffing our faces quickly over the sink.  But do these quick meals leave us satiated and content? I find that when I do this I am left feeling nauseous and horrible. Sit me down at a wonderfully set table, and the experience is completely different.

Egg White Omelet with Fresh Fruit
Photo by Audrey Bresar
Raspberry Crepe
Photo by Audrey Bresar
My memories of family get togethers and holidays always involve food. They involve walking into my grandmother's house and smelling that waft of garlic she always used that permeated the air. I can see vivid images of my mom and my uncle hovering above the stove and arguing about who was preparing the meal incorrectly. I see a long table that spanned both the dining room and living room, surrounded by family and friends. The chaotic and craziness of all those meals still echo in my ears. 
Carpaccio with Arugula and Shaved Parmesan in Truffle Oil
French Bean Salad
Photos by Audrey Bresar
In my younger days, the table was filled with laughter and heated discussions. Now, with some loved ones no longer with us, the table still laughs but there is more time spent reminiscing about these lost souls, who still remain alive in our hearts as we cherish their memories.
Seafood Salad
Photo by Audrey Bresar
Food is more than just something that does the body good. It feeds the soul and opens the heart. Those preparing the food pour their love into every stir, every dash and every chop they make. Food is about bringing people together, sharing stories, laughing, crying, creating memories, whether at home or out for an evening. Food is comfort, safety and love.
Homemade Broth
Photo by Audrey Bresar
When I prepare a meal, I look to combine flavours that will make the taste buds dance. I want the meal to encourage discussion around the table. I want my family to feel the love I poured into its creation. 
Gluten Free Cookies
Photo by Audrey Bresar
The kitchen is the heart of the home, for it is here you that you feel the beats and pulses, you feel the blood of our lives course through. The meals prepared here are what feed the soul and keep us thriving.
 
Caught by the Kids and Ready to Cook
Photo by Audrey Bresar
Dining with family and eating with friends reconnects us with what is important. It is the moment where we can forget about the day's insanity and engage in meaningful discourse that rekindles our spirits. Whether it is re-acquainting yourself with your stove or discovering a new bistro down the street, take the time to leave all troubles behind and indulge in a savoury, mouthwatering meal with those that mean the world to you.

Hot Chocolate and Coconut Pineapple Cake
Photo by Audrey Bresar

TALK TO ME!  What are your memories of meals? How do you feel when you are preparing a meal for loved ones?

3 comments:

  1. "Food is more than just something that does the body good. It feeds the soul and opens the heart" this is SO true, Audrey. I love that you have such fond memories of meals with family. Honestly, I think 95% of my family memories are around food as well (at least the positive ones are). Beautiful photos and a heart felt post. xoxo

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    1. Thanks Beth! I love food and love taking photos of food. I also love spending copious amounts of time around the dinner table just reminiscing, debating and laughing. My best memories of my grandfather are at a dinner table, of how he swished the wine in his mouth and how he would laugh from his belly at the far end of the table. I remember my mother baking and the air filled with vanilla and almonds. I can still see my dad and uncle hovering over the stove making crepes as me and my cousins would steal them hot out of the pan and smother them in lemon and sugar or marmalade. Food is so much more than a chore to make in order to survive. How are the vegan meals going? I'd love to hear about them since it is such a new adventure for you and your family! I am sure that there are many discussions on this change which will be part of your food psyche forever :) xoxo

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