Food is far more than sustenance for many of us living in the first world, although there are many of us as well in this “first world” who can’t afford any indulgences other than eating enough calories to stay alive. (I do have a problem when massive generalizations exclude the reality of poverty in our midst.)
Being a person with enough to eat, for most of my life, I can say that I have had my little rituals around food. Friday usually means pasta, not sure why, but it is my TGIF reward for making it through another week. And more recently Sunday dinner had become a day when I would roast an organic chicken and do up a host of roasted veggies–until I became a vegan!
It wasn’t so much the food as the ritual around making the food that caught me by surprise. We REALLY looked forward to those dinners–cranberry and chicken fat dripping down our chins, loads of butter on something, anything. Not to forget the smell of a yummy chicken roasting in the oven. We all, even the dog, were beside ourselves with anticipation.
It was a hard habit to put to rest and there was a bit of transitioning when I became a vegan. I became “one,” overnight, so no gradual indoctrination. I went cold turkey!
Anyway all this to say that Sunday dinner customs have evolved phoenix like out of the embers. Dinner is much cheaper and definitely as much fun, and very very healthy (and like in the movies, no animals were injured in the process).
I now make soup on Sundays! It’s our new yummy comfort food. This week a friend gave me a bag of beets from her garden, which I have very little experience with. too small to peel so I boiled the whole batch and then cooled them and pulled the skins away. (Poor beets.) I cooked up some miso stock with onions and then a big pot of green lentils. I whizzed the whole thing and presto, a high fibre, high protein soup that has the lovely and subtle flavour of borscht! The I whipped up a corn bread to go with it. Millions of recipes online and if you do the chemistry of substitutions it’s too easy.
So there you go, cold outside, warm and very cheap inside. Loads of nutrition, still a mess in the kitchen, not much has changed!