Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breaking Bread

After dinner tonight, The Captain shared that he had looked over during the meal and was surprised that I was eating something different from everyone else. He seemed to have forgotten that I was doing the GAPS Intro. So soon? Maybe it's because I made yesterday's meal something we could all eat.

The funny thing is, I was not at all interested in the tacos they were all eating. Not even one tiny bit. I had made a really rich soup of chicken bone broth, marrow bones, leeks and well-cooked snap peas. And was it ever delicious! Really, what more do I need?

Which is not to say that I never have cravings. I have had a few, for brief moments. Oddly enough, most of my cravings are for more ferments. I really miss kombucha, but the ACV in water seems to fill the same niche--for now. I have started on sauerkraut, but still in small amounts--I am used to helpings that rival the cooked vegetables on the plate.

It is a bit lonely being the only one in the house doing the Intro diet. There I am, sitting over my bowl of soup, while everyone else is helping themselves to the different dishes on the table. I value family meals--it's really important to me. And I don't like it when a kid won't eat what everyone else is eating. I think we should all eat basically the same meal. So it's pretty weird for me to be the odd one out. They look at my food with a sort of disdain (the kids, not The Captain, though, to be honest... he wouldn't eat soup all day, every day the way I can and do).

The desire then, is to be with my family, eating fully with them. It's not for crunchy, sweet, or other tastes and textures.  It's a desire for communion with my loved ones. Where we sit and savor the same food.

Because food is at the center of a social time for us. We sit and talk about our days. Cap'n Gary might tell a joke, or sing a sea chanty (if prompted). Something political or philosophical might arise and send us off in another direction. And, though we might not notice it, food is like the glue that holds us all there, with something in common. The food might even be a topic of conversation (though I don't let the kids get negative about the food, appreciation and thoughtful comments are always welcome!).

Do you see where I am going? The temptation is really emotional, rarely physical. My mind and heart are speaking, not my gut. It's not a tummy hunger, or even "bad bugs" asking to be fed. What it is, is  me not wanting to be separated from my family, because this is one of the threads that binds us.

I know there are those that object to the emotional connection with food, people who feel that food is just nourishment or fuel. But I was raised in a family where meals were (and still are) events, where we brought our better selves to the table and shared a nourishing--in all ways--time together. My father, The Shrink, loves to cook, but more than that, he loves to preside at the table, to knit the group together into one entity. This could be a collection of single folk with no family to join for a holiday. No matter, for everyone is welcome, and again, the food is the glue. By the end of the meal, we are all helping to clean up as if we had grown up together.

This is what I prize, the joy in breaking bread together. The Captain reassured me that whatever I eat, I am still connected when we sit down at the table as a family, and deep down I do know that is true.  Now we just need to come up with a better term. "Breaking soup" just doesn't work for me.


Baden said...

oh oh oh! Loved this post! It made me ache for what you have -in terms of group meals, but moreso the group emotional connection happening with the support of those.

And, weird thing: I woke shortly before reading this. What I had dreamt before I woke was that I was in the house I grew up in, with my cooking dad and my myriad siblings, etc, and I had brought home two fellows who were homeless -in addition to one we already had staying with us- and the conversations were all about food. Ha ha! Of *course* your post and my dream would overlap. Of course.

Justine Raphael said...

Thank you so much Baden!

I actually struggled to get that post right, to put what I was thinking and feeling into words.

You and your son always have a boisterous, GAPS friendly, home to be a part of here! We would love to have you visit (and we have a sailboat guesthouse! Bring your partner...)

And now you are dreaming previews of my posts? I love it. Yes, of course!

Clicky Web Analytics