Mindfulness of Food
Some of you may know I had a food blog once upon a time. I lapsed for a few reasons, including the fact that there are so many great bloggers out there and I’m not a food photographer. But, I’ve been missing it lately. I barely make the time to keep this blog updated so why I’ve been missing it I’m not certain, but I loved sharing food with people. So many of my friends and family are spread all around the country and it was a way to connect. So, because it was what I wanted to do on my Labor Day, I put an update on my Food blog, Please Repeat about our abundance of plums and I’m sharing the link here in case some of you would enjoy it. I may share my food updates more often coming up. We’ll see. If you go through you can see I had begun including Mindfulness into that blog, before lapsing.
Mindful eating is something I struggle with and always have. I’ve always eaten too fast. Why? I don’t know. But it is especially noticeable as my husband is a very slow eater. I'm jealous of his ability to eat slow. It's an ongoing practice for me, something I will continue to work for a long time. I continue to try to slow down and chew and enjoy my food while I’m eating it.
The thing is, there’s a whole other part of my food about which I find it much easier to be Mindful. I work hard to be very thoughtful about the food I put in my mouth, where it comes from and what comes with it. I love to spend full days just cooking meals even if it’s only for my husband and I. I carefully pick out ingredients from my favorite farmers at the famers market. It's one of the main reasons we moved to Missoula, the abundance of local food. I’m the person that chats with each farmer. This part of Mindful Eating that makes us thoughtful about where our food comes from and how it is prepared. This part I have down! For example, I’d like to share this past Saturday with you.
I got up and headed out to the farmers market. Yes, I am one of the early people at the market. I love being there when there’s still a little chill in the air. It’s just starting to smell like coffee and breakfast foods and everyone has just finished setting up their tables after their early morning start. The market isn’t packed yet and I can greet people and chat as I determine which cheese or fun vegetable to buy that week. I love trying new things each week. This year I’ve been learning more about cooking artichokes and I bought fresh Cranberry beans (the kind one usually buys dried) the other week that were yummy! Anyway this week I kept it simple as I thought about what I already had in my own gardens at home and in the fridge. I thought about the meat I’d pulled out of the freezer for that night and how many dinners I needed. I usually cook dinner 6-7 nights per week and this week will be the same.
After the market I head home to clean and get all my finds put away. It was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and it was a rainy day. This is why I love fall! Rainy, cool, days just call for me to be in the kitchen!
First, I decided to attack our excess of plums. Our plum tree doesn’t always produce, but this year it’s making up for those slow years! They are small, but oh so good. I’ve dehydrated a couple trays; made a plum salsa that was great as a side for some trout; and we’ve eaten many just standing at the sink, but on Saturday I had time. I made a small batch of Plum Fig Jam and I decided to make a Plum upside down cake. You can read about these in the food blog. You’ll have to trust me that they both came out!
Then I attacked a nice dinner. For dinner we had venison roast complete with gravy from the pan drippings, fresh green beans from the farmers market tossed in toasted almonds, and roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary from the garden. Dessert was an Almond Teff Plum Upside-down Cake! A simple dinner, but filled with love and fall flavors.
Saturday, I spent a whole day putting up some foods for winter; using food that came from our land; and planning a meal around local, seasonal, organic foods. As I cook I love paying attention to the colors. I think about how these foods are going to nourish us and keep us healthy; how they don’t have chemicals or pesticides in them; and how by spending this time in such a way I’m showing kindness toward myself and my loved one.
I took the time to set a nice table and we both fully enjoyed this meal. I must say, the roast melted in our mouths, but my favorite part was the cake! As cool weather slowly comes to various parts of the country I encourage you to use these days to enjoy the warmth coming out of the kitchen and to take the time to enjoy cooking a meal for your own loved ones. Take the time to think about your food; the people who grew it and transported it to where you bought it. How far did it go? How many people were involved? As we continue to work to be mindful of our everyday activities try to include Mindfulness of the food you eat and the caring that goes into preparing it, even just once a week. And remember, we all have strengths and challenges. Those challenges become our ongoing practices, they don't make us any less than, they just give us something to practice.
Tell us what you love about food. Are you more mindful with eating, or choosing the food, or cooking?