Monday, May 23, 2005


We all have our favorite ingredients. Some people will tell you the most important spice is garlic, others will say coriander, everyone has their very favorite item that "makes the meal". Salt certainly has its place. Pepper, too. Most of us give our all in attempts to please, feed, and entertain our families and friends.

So what is that most important ingredient? What is it that makes the meal? Hunger.
You can work all day, or just ten minutes preparing the perfect food. However, unless someone is hungry, the food doesn't get to do its job. Certainly it will get eaten, eventually, maybe. But does it really convey all you wanted it to, if hunger is not present? Some people might find me a bit goofy (okay more than some) but I see food as something that sacrifices itself for us. If it is abused, it's a shame. Abused could mean overcooked, too much cooked, undercooked, burned, moldy before it gets used or really anything that makes it inedible. To allow food to rot or be thrown away because of our lack of attention to it, it is the worst form of waste.

Unfortunately there are people out there that will eat anything, anytime. But that's not really eating. That's consuming. When I cook, I want it to be eaten, enjoyed, with plenty of talk around the table. That's one of the thing I miss most about having kids at home. We ate together at least six nights a week, while they were at home. Yep, every night. It kindof really bugs me that as we age we find fewer and fewer people around the table. I really think I'm going to live in some communal house when I get old (I mean really old) so I can eat with lots of people. Last night we sat with friends over a simple meal. A friend cooked, she was so excited to feed all of us, she cooked most of the morning. We came hungry, after a long day in church, ready to eat. It was the personification of everything I'm talking about, food, hungry people and good conversation. We weren't just hungry for the food, it was also the comraderie.

So, what's your favorite ingredient?