by Bridget Alexander.
How much do you enjoy your meals? How much time and care do you take in preparing them?
Food is an amazing opportunity to take care of yourself and others – a tangible showing of love.
As we all know, sometimes the best food is simple, uncomplicated and straight forward. A simple meal is quite often an inexpensive one, as well. The kind of meal we are talking about is minimally altered from its natural state, maintaining the integrity and flavor of each ingredient. The meal we are talking about is vibrant in color and taste, but never overpoweringly so.
The pleasure of a simple meal is heightened when we forage for each ingredient, knowing where they came from and perhaps even meeting the person who grew or raised them. How nice to pick those items in the beautifully displayed environment of a farmers’ market or when picking up your CSA share. Acquiring each item with the vision of your meal in your mind can be exciting and according to Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, delaying gratification can heighten pleasure and spending money on a memorable experience weighs very lightly on the conscience.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: Create a meal from scratch, using the most local and unprocessed ingredients possible. Choose a meal that is simple. A meal that celebrates and enhances the characteristics of your ingredients. Choose a meal that does not require breaking your ingredients down to an unrecognizable state. Set your table or place setting with detail. Pair it with a nice wine or put some lemon in your water. Put some fresh flowers or candles on your table.
Please tell me about the meal you made in the comments below. I would love to see a picture of your meal, too. Please email pictures with a description to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear what you come up with. We’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant Bondo’s Dining & Takeout or Lindsey’s).
Bridget is a 37 year old mother of two. She lives in West Wareham with her husband and their two children. She has also resided in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, California (Pacific Beach, San Diego), and on a dairy farm in Montana. She has a degree in Communications and Creative Writing. She is also an attorney and member of the Massachusetts bar…but does not practice, and instead focuses on her blog The Good Life, She Wrote and Commercial Freelance Writing. Over the last five years she has become increasingly interested in simple living, as she struggles to achieve life-work balance; and local food, as she strives to eat a whole, plant-based diet. Bridget also served as the executive director of the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) for four years.