Oliver! fans, sing along…
Food, glorious food!
Eat right through the menu.
Just loosen your belt
Two inches and then you
Work up a new appetite.
In this interlude —
Once again, food
Oh, how I love food. I mean, I love it like I love very few things. Let’s get this straight. There’s a special kind of love for God and my family. In the language of Alison, that kind of love has its own special name. I’m not entirely sure what that name is, but it’s the real thing.
When I talk about loving food, it’s different, but, boy, is it important! There is only one reason for which I have willingly gone without food and it is and can only be for Jesus. To skip a meal for any other reason is ridiculous. And to eat food you aren’t enjoying is akin to a crime in my humble opinion. Do NOT waste calories on anything yucky.
I knew Addie and I were an awful lot alike when she was about five and asked what her favorite thing was and she said, “Dinner.”
What’s fun is I know that God loves food, too. I will share my theory on this. From the very beginning of time, His creation story included food, aka forbidden fruit. We could share a zillion other instances where God used food and eating to tell a story or drive home a point. I have read that there are over 700 references to eating in the Bible. This is good news to me because I plan on a lot of eating when I get to heaven! It will be delicious and without guilt and oh, my dinner guests! Just imagine…
When I was a kid, I had a Dad who would eat anything and a Mom who was pretty sure she was a good cook because he told her she was. She wasn’t. She would cook all day some recipe from scratch in which she had some really great idea to substitute something disgusting in that never should have been substituted. We choked it down because well, we were just plain hungry.
I really don’t know what I ate from about 7th grade on when she rarely made dinner anymore. But around that time, my parents began leaving home a lot when they weren’t working and I was left alone for days at a time with very little food in the house and I got hungry and creative. I’m talking mixing butter with sugar and flour for dessert and melting cheese in the microwave and eating it with a fork. I learned that cheese slices are great on anything from canned green beans to potato chips! I didn’t know the first thing about cooking then so when all of a sudden I was married, I jumped into food prep with a passion. I didn’t know a chuck roast from a T-bone then, but I was determined to make Christian the happiest man in the world by food alone. With our tiny budget (when a sub from Plumb’s was eating out) I had to be creative and I was and darn proud of it!
Somehow, since then, I have gained somewhat of a reputation for cooking. I am truly not sure how that happened. Well, my theory is that my friends have all appreciated that I have been the one willing to put forth the meals so in order to encourage me to provide, they tell me I’m amazing so I continue. Oh no. This sounds like the past repeating itself.
I am not a fancy cook. I love comfort food that fills you up and makes you smile. I love soups and breads and pies. And I cook for anyone who appreciates it. My favorite compliment to date: “Those brownies changed my life.”
I’m contemplating compiling a cookbook…
Back in the days of high school, I learned to count calories. That was extremely dangerous for me as I soon became obsessed with that process and wasn’t happy unless the number was ridiculously low. I was rescued from what I believe could have been a very serious, long-term problem when I first learned I was pregnant. I could eat well for my child and I did.
The food relationship is a tricky one. We need it. We want it. We celebrate with it. We show our love with it. Food is a reward, a solace, an avenue of creativity.
For moms, often the entire world revolves around food prep, shopping for food, meal planning, making sure our children have all the nutrition they need. It is impossible to have a day without planning three times how our family will get their fill. When guys plan a day, they get in the car to go. When a mom plans a day, she plans around when and how she can provide the meals. With Justin gone, I can honestly say the only thing I really worry about for him is if he is eating well. The ability to make him food has been taken away from me and it leaves me feeling like I need some kind of nicotine patch.
When does it all go wrong? How to draw the line? This summer I was told I looked like I’d gained weight–about ten pounds. I hadn’t. In fact, in my whole adult life I’ve probably gained ten pounds, but I love those guys! They are there when I am in the midst of enjoying a Mountain Dew here and there, and eating dessert when it sounds good, and being smart yet enjoying life. They go away when I’m abstaining from all those lovely parts of my day.
Ahhh…to find the balance. Gluttony is, after all, a really nasty word that none of us like to think about. I know folks who’ve left a church because the pastor dared to use that “G” word because it really hit a tender spot (probably just below the rib cage).
There’s a spot in us that has cravings. I’ve learned that the satisfaction that fills that spot has a shape that can only be filled by One. He made us full of cravings! When it’s all lined up, though and we taste and see that He is good the rest is really just the extra frosting with sprinkles on top. Just the way I like it.