a simple kind of life

June 23, 2009

I use to be a big “foodie” in the traditional sense of the word.  I went to culinary school and trained as a pastry chef.  I organized big group dinners for friends at restaurants in New York and London.  A gourmet tasting fair?  I was there.  I also interviewed cheesemongers and artisan bread makers for The Times.

Then something happened.  Sitting down to a menu started to lose its appeal.  Gradually, my hours spent preparing and making elaborate food diminished.  At the same time, my awareness of nature and how disconnected we are from it became stronger.  Maybe I got tired.  But I’d like to think I woke up.

When my food choices started changing quite sharply last year – as both a result of my own preferences and the economic downturn – friends had a lot to say.  “But you love food!”  said one.  “But eating out is such a part of your life; how are you going to be social?” asked another.

My response is always the same: I still love food, and socializing now is more about being social then being caught up in what course I’m going to order next.

I am now a foodie in a different sense, taking pleasure in simplicity and marveling at how, the more simple my approach to food, the more my taste buds sharpen and can appreciate food as nature intended it.  I’m not putting down gourmands, on the contrary.  If that hadn’t been a part of my life, this part wouldn’t be happening now.

I’m not the first person to say that as you get more into whole, plant-based foods – especially raw – your diet becomes quite rudimentary.  You, literally, start returning to your roots.  It also means I don’t get bored of things as easily as I used to.  This recipe is probably as complex as I get these days, and I make it a few evenings a week.  I hesitated about posting it since it’s so simple, but simplicity is often easily missed.  It reminds me of a line from an old Depeche Mode song: “Is simplicity best, or simply the easiest?”  I’d like to think it’s both.

new recipe: better than stir fry

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comments

  1. Jess June 23, 2009 at 18:27

    I hear ya, Earth Mother! I’d love to go back to Thailand and sample the amazing fruit with my super taste buds.

  2. earthmother June 23, 2009 at 18:18

    …taking pleasure in simplicity and marveling at how, the more simple my approach to food, the more my taste buds sharpen and can appreciate food as nature intended it.

    This is SO true! I was raised by a Hungarian mother who smothered everything in either garlic or sour cream, or both. Seriously. Oh, and of course, paprika.

    When I started transitioning to raw, living foods and my taste buds began waking up (along with the rest of me), I was amazed at how delicious and satisfying a simple salad could taste. The explosion of flavors just blew me away. Raw, just-picked corn on the cob can send me over the moon!

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