Celebrating with Healthy Food and Good People
December 18, 2011
Yesterday, I graduated from college. Yeah. That happened. It’s awesome, and I feel glad to have completed such a long commitment. Not surprisingly, I had a big graduation party, and, not at all surprisingly, for me, that meant an elaborate meal (links to some dishes will follow the body of the post). I am oh, so fortunate to work at a great restaurant that does catering, so I was able to have an amazing menu with no work on my own part, which meant I was able to relax and just enjoy my friends, my family, and my accomplishment.
The notion of celebrating with food has been on my mind a lot lately, partly because of the holidays, and partly because of this article over at Peggy, the Primal Parent. I’ve been musing a lot on the role of food in a healthy lifestyle. How do you honor food (and, subsequently, the natural world) without obsessing over it or forming an addiction? Can using food as celebration be healthy? I think so.
This is where Primal comes into play for me. Cavemen drew their prey animals on walls. Ritual is a fundamental and natural part of the human experience, and one that may have begun with meat sharing. Basically, honoring food and using food to honor important events and social bonds seems to be a fundamental human behavior, and one that predates agriculture, and perhaps even our mastery of fire. Peggy makes a good point that being addicted to food, or substituting for neolithic foods on a day-to-day basis misses the point of being primal, and I agree with that. But food is about community. It’s about sharing the basic of elements of life with the people you love and care about. It’s about remembering your place in a big, wonderful, natural world. That seems pretty primal to me.
My graduation menu (linked to the most similar recipes I can find on the internet):
Braised Lamb with Red Wine, Coffee, and Cardamom (of course, mine had no flour, using a reduction sauce instead of a gravy)
Garlic Sauteed Kale with Apricots and Olives