Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breaking Bread

Ever wanted to do something more?

Something better?

Have you ever thought, who am I?

Where do I belong in this world?

I do. Every day. That is where I am. So what does that have to do with you and food? Right? Patience, my friend, patience. This is going to be a long ride…just come with me. Hopefully it will be worth it.

Those of you that follow my blog know that about a year ago a good friend of mine died. At the time I ran a contest imploring you guys to break bread or break open a bottle with a friend. The other day I looked at my husband and said, “You know it has almost been a year since Michael died.” I think about him often and when I do, I miss him. Terribly. He was wicked, and dear. He made me laugh until it hurt. Around him, I felt loved. Since then I have felt compelled. I felt, there was something I should be doing, but what? That thought has been weighing on me so heavily of late.

What? I hear you, but what?

Then, finally, slowly my thoughts started coming together. Still, just this morning I couldn’t fully get my hands around what I wanted to do. I was talking it through with the great Lucy’s mom and telling her, I wanted to change my blog, change the focus of it, but I couldn’t get my hands around exactly how.

So let me back up just a bit. I love my blog. Not , however in, “it is the best blog out there“ sort of love. I love MY blog, in the,” it is mine, I created it, it is an extension of me, my thoughts,” sort of love. I started my blog on the very first day I heard of a blog. I started it, as a sort of on-line recipe box for my family. It never, ever, in a million years dawned on me that people would really read it. As they did, though I realized there was this void, in me that needed this. I was a stay at home mom with two babies and I missed having something to say that wasn’t just about the latest trick on how to get breast milk stains out of clothes and how to make taking a rectal temperature more pleasant for everyone involved. My blog got me out into the world, the world outside of just mommy hood again. Thank god. Really.

Now, I want to take my blog from something I do, to something….more. I don’t want to just chronicle the recipe for a meal I made. I want to chronicle the meal.

I think we have forgotten how to break bread as a nation. We have forgotten to sit down and have meals as families. We have forgotten how to have meals with friends. We have forgotten how to have community meals. Or perhaps, not forgot. Perhaps, just got too busy. We made a mistake. We stepped away from the table. Look around though? Do you see the impact.? It is tangible. It impacts our children’s behavior. It changes their sense of self. It is destroying their health. It is impacting our joy. We have forgotten that a meal is a ritual. It is a ritual that honors the food we eat, how it is prepared and frankly the person that took the time to make it. It is a ritual of fueling our bodies, enriching our families and spreading love. Love. Sigh….and I am back to missing Michael. I missed too many meals with him, because we were “too busy.”

Because of this, our lives, our world is substantially less rich. We need to get back to the ritual of breaking bread. Of sharing a meal and sharing ourselves. So in that spirit, I am beginning my chronicles. I will still have recipes. However, I am going to focus on breaking bread with the ones I love. I am giving your more of myself in this. You will get a more intimate invitation into my life. Isn’t’ that what it is about? What good are we, if we don’t give our greatest gift. Our time, ourselves.

So today, Tristan’s preschool was cancelled due to a broken broiler. Luckily for him he and his lady love Lucy had a magical play date. Sadly for him (and Lucy!) she is sick :( So how was I going to salvage the day? We went to Trader Joes to restock on my daughter's blueberry obsession, and then decided to do the insane…the unthinkable…take the kids… to a restaurant…by…my…self! Cue the whodunit music. Insane (and yes I know myself is one word). Ever so stupidly I told Tristan this prior to our outing at TJ’s. TJ’s was awful. The kids fought and whined the entire time. I fussed and whined the entire time. Plthh. By the end, I really would have rather shot my left foot off than take them out to eat. However, a promise is a promise, and so I went. We went to Maldini’s, because A) it is spitting distance from my house and I just wanted to get near home, B) it was kid friendly. The pictures aren't was is dark in there. I have to say it was lovely. Lovely. The kids were doll’s, they ate their salads even. I couldn’t believe it. Even Baby Jaguar (Tristan’s lovey) and My Baby (Jillian’s lovey) enjoyed the salad .

Where had the two terrors I just had at TJ’s gone? Why were they being so good?

All I can figure, is that It made them feel special. Little did they know, it made me feel special too.

Love the video, Jillian can't even be bothered to answer. Sadly I miss capturing her happy food dance and outrageous moaning of food joy... she is her fathers daughter!!


Joie de vivre said...

Mommy, you are so right. I eat three meals a day with my boys, but next year, my oldest will be in first grade, eating lunch with kids who have not been taught the ritual of eating together. Will he quickly scarf his lunch to join the boys on the playground? Probably. It makes me sad. I'm sharing this post on Facebook too.

Chef E said...

Oh the memories! As your post began I was thinking, gosh I was so going in that direction in a post last night...

Joie de vivre said...

Thank you, as always, for visiting. Thanks for finding me on Twitter too!

The Angry Baker said...

I agree with you, eating is about so much more than just getting sustenance. It is about making memories with those we love and blessing them by making this sometimes difficult life a little easier.
I used to have this quote on my blog and I think Michael says it perfectly:
“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents.”
Michael Chiarello

Choclette said...

You are so right once again, I;m always putting off having friends around for a meal - I want them to come, just can't find the time somehow!

Swestie said...

I like this. One of the things I've joyfully labored to maintain as I've gone back to work is dinner time. I plan literally two weeks in advance to make it all nice and pleasant and not stressful for me. Each night when we four say the blessing at our small square table, it is bar none the favorite time of my day.

You gotta take the kids out more often... we've always taken ours! Let's get together soon!