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.