Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good food and simple living

I wonder, do you read Small Town Living? If you don't, I definitely recommend it. It's a neat bi-monthly online magazine, downloadable for free, with lots of great articles, tips and tutorials - pretty much everything about simple living, gardening and crafts. Some things that are published there are obviously less relevant to those of us who don't live in the United States, but I still glean a lot from it.

In the last issue, there was an article that struck a chord with me. It was a story written by a woman named Deborah Garner, who told about her journey from living mainly on junk food to a healthy vegan diet. Even if, like me, you have never been prone to overeating and have always been naturally lean, you will find her story deeply moving.

I believe that good, healthy, wholesome food, eaten in the right proportions and enjoyed around the family table, is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Do you remember that scene in Narnia, when the witch gives Edmund Turkish Delight, which makes him unable to enjoy good simple food? I often feel as though most modern food, preservative-laden, processed and packaged, has just the same function. It lacks warmth and personality, but when you get used to it it's difficult to go back to home-cooked meals.

Fortunately for me, I grew up in a family that put a great emphasis on home cooking and healthy eating, and even on fun extras such as baking and jam-making. Remember our etrog from a few posts ago? This year, I decided not to let it shrivel up. I collected the etrogim left over after Sukkot, and attempted to make jam out of them. Unfortunately I was not very successful at making jam, because it appears I should have added more liquid, but I did end up with some candied fruit my husband liked.

I could talk on and on about simple living and the part home-cooked food plays in it, but right now it's time to log off so I hope to continue another day. I wish you a most wonderful weekend.

Your friend,

Mrs. T

8 comments:

Nadja said...

When I met my boyfriend, he basically ate only pre-prepared food. I am coming from a family where we grow most of our own vegetables and we are big on preparing our own meals from scratch. So I taught him how to make a few simple things and now he's proud of himself and his cooking! He's even daring enough to try out new recipes and I find that delightful. Plus he even lost some weight by changing his eating habits!
While I still prepare most of our food when we are together, it's good to know that he became a bit more educated and open when it comes to healthy and nutritional food.

Even though I probably won't be a homemaker, I try and learn as much as I can about cooking, baking and simple ways to live life. It's really enjoyable! :)

Michelle said...

Eating as a family was instilled in me as a child, and it's a tradition that I still practice today, though now with my dear husband.

Rachel said...

I had not heard of this online magazine, Anna, but I will certainly go give it a look. I am glad that your husband is going to enjoy the candied fruit. I am thinking you may want to try and make marmalade out of it, next time. Seeing that it is a citrus, that might be a good way to go, as opposed to jam. Candied, gingered, or marmalade. Still simple, but not jam...

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

thanks so much for sharing that magazine. I really enjoyed reading it.

Eric and Hannah Avery said...

I love your blog!

Ways of Zion said...

Simple food, Full table, shared family momment....such speical times!

Anna said...

I know what you mean by being 'spoiled' on processed junk food. It seems that whenever I have it, I just can't get enough... but when I eat healthy homemade meals, one nice-sized serving is plenty.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your thoughts on this subject, Anna. I have to agree about the virtues of home cooking; even the simplest soup & a slice of bread, are somehow more satisfying than a mountain of unwholesome food. I've always felt a little sorry for people who claim not to be able to cook ANYthing, & won't even try.....they are cheating themselves out of a real treat! :o)

Brenda