Thursday, December 11, 2008

Comfort Food

The combination of the short days of December and the rainy, cold weather we've been experiencing have made the past couple days incredibly dreary and downright depressing. Rather than trying to fight the dreariness, why not embrace it? Isn't that part of accepting things we can't change?

Wilson and a friend, who is vegetarian, were supposed to come home last night for a home cooked meal and good night's sleep before the craziness of exams begins on Friday. Unfortunately, school pressures kept them from making the visit, but that didn't stop me from making the vegetarian meal and dessert I had planned.

It was wonderful to smell the hearty mushroom ragout simmering on the stove, the anticipation made my mouth water. Sometimes I think anticipation is the best part of the meal! After dinner Joe went out to play volleyball and I baked the blackberry cobbler that we had planned for dessert. Upon his arrival home we enjoyed the hearty, simple dish and both agreed that food has a wonderful way of comforting us.

It's one way to show you care about someone: when there is an illness or death in the family people bring over food. Sharing a meal with friends is, for us, one of the best pleasures I can think of. Eating is one of the most basic of human needs and to share ritual with others makes the routine a nicer experience. Potlucks are one of my favorite types of dinners: everyone brings a part of themselves to contribute to the whole meal.
So in these dark days of December, when the trees are resting up and preparing for next year's growth, we can do the same thing. We can take the time to be dormant, look intward and prepare for any changes we'd like to make in our lives. We can appreciate the simple sights, sounds and smells from inside our house and draw comfort from nourishing our bodies with hearty foods. In the spring we'll emerge stronger and ready to expand our world again.

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