For the love of FOOD
Don’t you love how food can bring people together?
Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people,” and I couldn’t agree more….
Mealtimes are not simply about the essential sustenance on offer but more an exercise of bonding, love and discovery. Sharing a meal holds a special place in several cultures around the world- from quick workplace lunches to intimate dinner parties or special events, like weddings or as we have discussed here, on the ‘Generosity of Spirit’ blog a weekly meal like a Sunday Roast.
Julia Child was a famous and much loved American Chef. Her enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude saw her soar to huge heights with a successful TV career alongside her best selling cook books. She was born in 1912 in Pasadena, California. After attending a culinary school in France, she collaborated on the hugely successful cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ which became a bestseller in 1961. She fell in love with food, and particularly French cuisine and she was sure Americans would too. She encouraged her fans to always try… fail or succeed – but to never give up.
Julia had a vivacious personality and America fell in love with watching her cook and have fun in the kitchen in her first, of many TV shows, ‘The French Chef’. She had a marvellous career with many more books and TV appearances, until her death in 2004.
She was also the inspiration behind the 2009 film ‘Julie & Julia’ which was based on the cooking blog by Julie Powell. If you haven’t seen this film, get hold of it and watch it. It is so inspiring for anyone who has a dream that is totally different to the life they are leading… it is all about being gutsy and driven. And you will get to know the tour-de-force that was Julia Child even more and like me, I am certain you will fall in love with her too.
Julia Child believed that some of the best memories are often made whilst sat around the dining table.
So … why is Food – the ultimate social agent?
All the best catch ups and occasions revolve around delicious dishes and cooking. Bringing families, friends and even strangers together.
Eating together essentially enables us to stay connected with the ones we love. We use the time at the dinner table to talk to our family and friends about their days, weeks or life in general. There is also the fun of eating different foods and sharing recipes together.
One of my favourite parts of travelling is eating local foods, discovering and embracing cuisines of different cultures. There is always something to learn and with all the ‘new’ and ‘different’ out there in the big wide world, food is an amazing common language that bonds us all.
Our relationship with food constantly changes and evolves- not only our taste buds (you will end up liking olives… eventually!) but simply in the constant discovery it allows. Isn’t that amazing? Even if you didn’t try – you couldn’t stop yourself learning more and more about food as you grow older; through trial and error, new recipes, new produce, new discoveries- independently and with others.
There is evidence to suggest that eating together could be good for your soul; studies have shown that families that eat together are healthier, benefitting from lower rates of depression and obesity along with higher rates of literacy and self-esteem.
When my Husband and I started to date, we used to look through our collective cook book collections- choose a recipe, go out and buy all the ingredients and then cook together usually with a bottle of wine! It was a great way of getting to know each other, working together and then enjoying a meal we had made between us.
Every occasion I can think of is made better with food.
Most recently between work shifts I popped round to my little sister’s apartment in Norwich and we made pizzas together. There is something so wonderful about being in the kitchen with someone you love. It was a great afternoon spent gossiping over preparing the pizzas together and then the ultimate reward of a crispy delicious pizza fresh out of the oven. My vegan pizza was full of veggie colour and the grated Vio-Life cheese totally made it, and my sister made a beautiful vegetarian pizza with mozzarella, pesto and olives.
Homemade Vegan Pizza
Jus Rol Pastry
Vegan tomato and basil puree
Vio life cheese (grated)
Orange and red tomatoes
To finish my blog, I thought I would hand over to the wonderful Julia Child with some of her famous quotes. I am sure you will know some already- but I urge you get to know the woman behind the words, she is fantastic and a total inspiration if you love food- and I know you do !
1. “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
2. “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food…”
3. “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
4. “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
5. “It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”
6. “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
7. Child quoted Oscar Wilde when she said, “everything in moderation…including moderation.”
8. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
9. “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
10. “I was 32 when I started cooking. Up until then, I just ate.”