On Feasting

Can I just tell you what we had for dinner this week?

Basil Lemon Parmesan Tilapia~White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes~Zuchinni and Tomato Garlic Saute~Lime Tortilla Chips & Mango Salsa~Blackberry Wheat Beer

I work all day with words and in the evenings I like to put down my laptop, march into the kitchen, and make something with my hands.

What made me really happy about this meal, however, was the sense of community and homegrown flavor inherent in the ingredients. My husband and I planted an organic vegetable garden this year at our new house, and it has yielded us robust zuchinni and summer squash, the best Italian flat green beans I’ve ever had, scallions and basil, arugula and sage.

There’s something deeply satisfying, and deeply sacred, about learning to cultivate good things. I recall the line from The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God in which Anne Voskamp writes, “Some say that there are only two kinds of people who brush very God.  The priest in the sacraments.  The farmer in the soil.” Even with the small taste I’ve been given, I see what she means.

I love is making a meal from scratch, from the basil in the blue pot on my front step, the zuchinni freshly picked from the backyard garden, the tomatoes my mother-in-law gave us ripening on the windowsill, and the red onions given to us by friends.

Barbara Kingsolver and her family set out to eat only food that had been grown by people they knew, a journey chronicled in her famed book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I buy food from markets and strangers out of practical necessity. But something tells me this is the way it should be: we are not meant for solitary feasts; we are meant to commune together. I don’t care if you’re eating organic grass-fed beef or mac & cheese from a box, no one is meant to eat alone.

From the beginning, Christ has always shared His bread with us. He rained manna from the sky, broke bread at the Last Supper, and then offered up His body, through which we commune with Him even now, responding at His table, “Alleluia! Therefore let us keep the feast.”

No one is meant to eat alone. Christ is waiting at the table at the end of time. And in the meantime, may our own tables be filled with bright homegrown vegetables and happy feasting guests.

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  • http://shawnsmucker.com Shawn Smucker

    My wife and I have had a garden now for two years, and you’re right: there’s nothing like making an entire meal from food you pick just outside your back door. This year we took another step and raised our own chickens and butchered them (with the help of an Amish neighbor).

    I work at home and we make a point of eating lunch together, all six of us. It’s a wild, messy, wonderful time of the day.

    • http://shequotes.wordpress.com stephindialogue

      That’s awesome! We haven’t gotten to chickens yet :) Yes, family meal time does wonders. That’s great you get to share that time with your family daily.

  • http://annkroeker.wordpress.com/ annkroeker

    What a wonderful flow, as your post starts with your dinner menu (wow…so fancy compared with pork chops in the slow cooker!) to the literary references that inspired us to commune together, culminating with the fullest communion of the Supper of the Lamb!

    Good stuff! I’m honored you linked to Food on Fridays with such a beautiful piece!


    • http://shequotes.wordpress.com stephindialogue

      Thanks Ann! I just discovered your Food on Fridays yesterday and I immediately bookmarked your blog! I’m excited to read more from you and peruse recipes.

      I like the way you summarize this post…it didn’t consciously occur to me as I wrote it, but that’s exactly the kind of progression I think that I hope and long for.

  • http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

    mmmhmmm. we have the biggest garden we’ve ever had but ate at summer camp all season and missed many of these joys. as soon as campers left, our friends (who share the garden) stopped by unannounced and we whipped up an impromptu feast from the bounty (including grilling a giant mushroom my husband found on the walk home!)

    nothing better than sharing those gifts with people you love:)

    • http://shequotes.wordpress.com stephindialogue

      I like that image of an impromptu feast! It’s best when shared, I think you’re right!

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