I have always had a love of food. Food plays a major part of my social life. For me, it is one of the main pleasures in life, and when I think about getting together with family or friends, or going out and socialising, then preparing or ordering food is a must.
When I remember taking my children out to the park to play when they were younger, food was always a part of the pleasure of the afternoon. From feeding the ducks, enjoying and ice cream, having a nice picnic, or eating a bag of chips on the way home, tired but happy, food has played a large role.
When we moved to Australia, we were so excited to be introduced to new foods. There is a large Asian influence on the Gold Coast, so we enjoyed trying out the Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurants in our new neighbourhood. I remember Liam (who was 9 years old at the time) coming home from school and telling us that he had sushi at school! We had hardly even heard of this food, so went out to the nearest sushi restaurant and sat looking at these little rice dishes as they revolved around the restaurant on miniature railway tracks! To this day, one of my favourite foods is sushi, and my daughter agrees. We always plump for the tuna dishes with lots of soy sauce.
One weekend in the month, Jessica and I have a baking weekend. We spend most of the day in the kitchen, and bake goodies such as pasties, cheesecake, and caramel slices. We don our pinnies to look the part – I have a Welsh dragon on mine, and Jessica has a frilly pink one – so cute! We look at different recipes online, and this weekend it’s going to be apple crumble and custard, and a nice savoury beef pie. For St David’s Day a few weeks ago (March 1st) we made Welsh cakes which were eaten 10 mins flat!
At our house last night, we had some ‘dramas.’ My son is seeing a lovely girl called Nikki. They have been going out for over a year, but at just 17 years and in her last year at school, her parents do not want her to have any distractions, including having a boyfriend. They have laid down the law in no uncertain terms, and Liam and Nikki have decided to cool off their relationship for a while. As the drama unfolded last night, Liam became annoyed and frustrated that they are treating them so cavalierly by banning them from seeing each other. Her dad reminds me of a very strict Victorian father. Needless to say, food played its role as a comforting influence last night – Liam went out for a takeaway and came back with a MacDonald’s. We sat down and ate the greasy fries and burgers and tried to put it all to rights – how food can give you courage!
Food is a pleasure when things are ‘right’ in the world, and a comfort when things go ‘wrong.’ A world without food would be a very desolate place indeed. It is a main part of the way we socialise, communicate and share our emotions. It has gone way beyond the notion of ‘eating to survive,’ in a physical sense, but is an integral part of our emotional existence too.