Here across the United States, we’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving. I love, absolutely LOVE, Thanksgiving. The very idea of taking a day to feel a moment of gratitude for the life and world around you simply sings to my soul. Also, of all the major holidays, the food takes center stage. Whether it’s the traditional Turkey/Mashed potatoes/stuffing/pie route or something completely different, we gather together to feast and count the blessings in our life. That ritual of family and friends around the table is ingrained deep in the core of my being. It’s important. Like the Ghost of Christmas Present scattering his cornucopia over the Christmas feast it makes the food richer, the meal greater, the world warmer, and the day brighter.
Getting the food right is important, and cooks across the country have been knocking themselves out debating the importance of sage rubs and apple cider brines for the past two weeks. Should the stuffing include wild rice and sausage? What about roasting my own pumpkin for the pie? Is the canned stuff acceptable? Is this the year I dare to add a bit of sour cream to the mashed potatoes, or is that too far afield for everyone to accept? These holiday meals become annual touchstones to our childhood. They remind us with every bite that we are part of something greater than ourselves and that we’re connected to each other by the common experience of eating a meal.
Why do we save that feeling just for the holidays?
Why can’t every meal be looked at with the same expectation and the same joy? Why can’t we eat with the same fellowship and intent that we feast at Thanksgiving? Why not let the tastes and smells we imbibe tie us together and become something greater? We can, and I think we must.
I’m not suggesting Turkey/365, or anything like that. Sooner or later, I think even I would get tired of pumpkin pie. Eventually. Maybe. What I do propose is intentional eating. This is where we try to feed the soul at the same time as the body. Some call us a Fast Food Nation. With that in mind, I call for a Slow Food Revolution. We cannot thrive in a world of drive-throughs and sport shakes. We crave something much deeper than a sugar and salt laden sack of empty carbs while driving down the road. We deserve and are worthy of having our spirits lifted along with our bodies. We want Thanksgiving. Every day.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to focus this blog on two meals at a time. A dinner that will be scaleable for any size family, and a lunch quickly made from the leftovers for the next day. We’re going to rotate roasts, flip birds, and re-purpose pork. I assure you all of them will take longer than the line at your local fast food location. That’s exactly the point. Meals should take longer, because adding love takes time.