Food has taken on an entirely different personality at the Burton home this year, so it is with much remembered and current pleasure that I will recall not only my favorite food item of the year, but also, my favorite presentation and thoughts on food in general that have moved our lives, this year.
Let me begin by sharing again the link that I posted here a few weeks ago, regarding food...
So my favorite presentation, this year, is the mighty Monkey Platter! A sampling of several items (I usually try to have a grain, a fruit, a protein, and some just fun things I know one or both children generally love). Lately, as people are going to sleep and waking up on their own schedule, we've tried more Mini-Monkeys...two or three items on a small plate.
Between Monkey Platters and self-serve snacks, we don't often make formal meals here, anymore...and all our former tensions and struggles over who ate what, and when, have evaporated. Everyone has enough to eat, everyone eats food that satisfies them, has no need to eat food that doesn't appeal to them, and everyone is healthy and has the energy they need to live their life as they choose.
My personal favorite food, which I had never tasted prior to 2009, is frozen grapes. I'd eaten plenty of fresh grapes, grape jams and jellies, even had wine, but I had no idea before this year of the wonder os a grape, frozen. As I type this, I am munching on them, the crunch of the skin, the icy sweet melting of the inside, the concentrated sugars more pleasing to me, these days, even than chocolate. So simple, so wonderful, and packed with a quick burst of energy, delight, and nutrients......ummmmmm!
It might be obvious, from the rest of this post, that our entire approach to food and eating has changed. That change can be summed up in three very simple words, all of only one syllable:
FOOD IS FUEL.
Food is fuel. All food is. It doesn't matter whether it's steak, an apple, or a Twinkie. All will give energy. While some deliver in a quick, all-at-once burst, others are time-released. Each of us has our own needs for energy. No one else can truly know what we need, so everyone here has the freedom to choose what they feel is appropriate, every time they want fuel.
Food is also comfort. Giving Annalise a small piece of candy when she's tired and upset gives her something to do with her mouth, a sweet flavor, and the certainty that, while everything else may feel wrong, this one thing is right.
Food you want, served to you by someone who loves you and brings it to you with a smile and a hug, has magical powers to heal and replenish the soul as well as the body.
It is a good thing to have come to know, and one I will remember...