My sister in law, Tara, was raised on the west coast, moved to Colorado in her twenties and now lives in a beautiful little home that she and my brother have worked hard to fix up and create into their own perfect little place. I asked her to share some of her own thoughts and history with food and community.
When I was young my mother would have these huge dinner parties. She would invite everyone she could and cram them into our tiny apartment. She would then proceed to serve them the most elaborate roast dinner on her sets of fine china. Everyone buzzed on wine and bubbling around enjoying each other’s company. Momma loves to entertain and people love momma. By the end of the night there would be wine on the carpet, trifle in bellies, and piles and piles of dishes in the sink. Those were the best nights!
Everything about my eating and cooking habits changed when I got married. We plan our meals together for the week and are also more conscience about where our food comes from and how it got into our home. My husband is a true leftovers lover so if I make batches and batches of food, he is happy, which makes me happy, plus we very rarely eat out which in turn makes our wallets very happy!
Now that I am married to a very handsome hunter it brings a whole new light to meat. Killing our chickens is emotionally hard, yet it’s worth it to eat the meat. Seeing a deer go down in the woods is even harder, but it’s ethical and necessary if we want to eat meat. People have become so unattached to where their food comes from, it shows up at the grocery store wrapped in plastic and super cheap. People forget and ignore that their meat had a face not long ago. The work and process it takes to raise animals is hard and expensive. The American diet has meat in every meal, which is irresponsible and selfish. It forces farmers to do unnatural things to animals to keep up with the demands. It’s sad. We try to limit our meat consumption to a few times a week and it is mostly our deer or ducks that now reside in our freezer. Yay for meatless Monday’s!
I do love to entertain!! It’s easy, fun, cheap, and people gift me with alcohol. What’s not to love?! We like to invite people over from all areas of our lives and have them all participate in the making of the meal. Everyone gets a job, so it’s interactive for them and zero stress for us. People really enjoy feeling useful! Our kitchen and dining room are open and connected so people can mingle freely and no one “gets stuck” in the kitchen. It’s a nice way to enjoy an evening together!
I would encourage everyone to buy local food and support your small farmers. Visit your farmers market, meet them, know where and how your food came to be. Start a small garden. Just throw some tomatoes in a pot. It’s an easy, rewarding, and delicious introduction to food production.
Also (and I know this isn’t for everyone!) we don’t own a microwave. It’s the best decision we have made. We make and eat real food, we take time together to prepare dinner and talk about our day. We are intentional about our food and we love it! I would recommend it for everyone!