Friday, December 18, 2009

Celebrating and Food

Yesterday I wrote about remembering some of our roots with food, and ever since, I have thought a lot about what we say, hear, and read this time of year: that having a good time doesn't have to involve food but rather that it's all about the people. I have written about this on this blog and also in countless comments on other blogs...

Yesterday's post made me think a lot about food, family, and friends and how it all goes together. And while I still agree that people are more important than food, I do think that food is a way to show love, caring, & to celebrate togetherness. Does this mean we have to eat ourselves into oblivion? Definitely not. But I think that a few special dishes that symbolize (old or new) traditions are a nice way to celebrate.

Food does more than simply nourish the body. It can also connect us with others and can connect us to our roots. Sharing a meal with family and friends is such a nice way to nourish our bodies and our souls. Obviously, the food we share doesn't have to be unhealthy. How about fresh, organic vegetables, salads, flavorful fruits, and maybe some organic meat? And how about a nice glass of wine? Or some fresh juice? And how about just one very small slice of freshly baked, decadent cake? There is just something special about planning a menu, choosing the best quality ingredients you can find, preparing a meal with love and care, and then enjoying it with family and friends. It brings us together.

While I still think the holidays shouldn't be all about food, I do think that food is important to nourish our bodies and souls. Eating with family and friends should be an enjoyable, stress-free, connecting part of celebrating.

Question: What are your thoughts about celebrating and food? Can't wait to read your thoughts...

Be well,


  1. I think this is such an important subject. For hundreds of years humans have celebrated events with food. So learning to focus on the celebration and not the food is such a good lesson.

    I like your ideas about getting the best quality ingredients and offering your guests/family wonderful meals that are healthy for the body and the soul.

  2. I touched on this subject on my blog too. Food should be celebrated not demonized! I love your point of view.

  3. Food is something that really does help bring people together. I can't name one event or holiday that never involves it. Even if it's a tiny little snack.

  4. Amen!

    One of my favorite things to do is entertain. I love everything about it -- choosing a menu, cleaning, choosing wine, I just love it! I think it's such a great way for the more "health conscious" individuals out there to make a lasting impression on people as to what a "balanced" meal is like. I know that sounds preachy to a degree, but I have had guests tell me that they love my cooking and are so impressed with how I prepare my meals to taste and appear anything but 100% delicious. While *we* know that healthy does not mean lesser taste, most people do feel this way! I love to use entertaining and meals with friends and family as an opportunity to share my passion and leave the learning up to them through observation and questions. And yes, the dietitian wants a sliver of that cake, too!

    Great post, Andrea!

  5. Forgot to post under my new name, let's try this again...

  6. Great post Andrea. I think about 100 years ago, families were brought together in a healthy, fantastic way, to share love and food. Food was fresh, it was made with love, and people weren't sitting at the tables waiting anxiously for their food because they'd been starving all day just to "save up" for the meal. This is how it is today, and it's pathetic. People eat their food so fast they can't even enjoy it, let alone have time to connect with family. Times are changing, but family celebrations, including food in a healthy way, do still exist, and are fantastic and necessary in life.

  7. Hi Andrea!
    I always see your comments on Alison's and Cindy's blog and thanks for stopping by mine to comment on Alison's Guest Post!

    Food & celebrating? Yes for sure. It's just that for me, I have food intolerances and allergies so I have to be careful not to celebrate with foods that can make me feel sick, but in general, food and festivities go hand in hand.

  8. I think of food as the conduit to bring people together. Without it, you can still have a good time. But having yummy food just makes any occasion so much better and definitely more memorable.

  9. I do think often times the two go hand-in-hand, as food can tell stories of families and generations as well as provided needed nourishment! However, I also don't always love that in our culture it seems whenever we meet a friend or something along those lines, food feels like a must, when sometimes maybe an activity would be better!

  10. I think it is hard to seperate celebrating and having food since it is an age old traition. if a harvest was plentiful, there was certainly a celebration and so the tradition continues. Eating is very much a social thing. When an elderly spouse dies, the remaining spouse will often not really eat. Partially out of mourning, but the other part because it is not the same to eat alone. It is also not the same to prepare food for only one. I think foods should be healthy when there is celebration involved with just a tad of those special foods.

  11. Great post, Andrea!

    I so agree. I think that our society too often fluctuates between the extremes- stuffing ourselves into oblivion or staying away from food all together.

    We need to learn to find a middle ground. Food is amazingly nourishing, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. I can remember the smells of my grandmother's Thanksgiving dinners and, even though she is gone, we can recreate that experience to some degree by creating her food.

    Let's enjoy our food this year. Often, enjoying our food more can actually lead to consuming less.

    Great post!

  12. I couldn't agree with you more but I also feel that our whole UNIVERSE is surrounded by food. Meaning, we get a scrape as a kid, mom gives us a cookie. we get an A on a test we celebrate by going out to dinner, we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with food...we get together to EAT.

    We actually have not hosted events because we couldn't afford to "feed" everyone. I guess it's all good, but what happens when you have different food issues (intolerances or allergies or dieting) All of a sudden these "celebrations" are stressfull and not much fun because FOOD is the main focus. THAT'S the part I don't like. It's a dance for sure, a great one...for sure but with everything there needs to be room for everyone to be themselves, more acceptance, less judgement, less time at the gym to recover from the "get togethers"

    nice topic, as always!

  13. The problem now can be illustrated with our experiences with Chinese food in the U.S. What were dishes, such as General Tao's Chicken, for example, that were only eaten on special rare occasions, now are everyday fare. We, as a culture, eat everyday like it's a holiday. So here we are, overweight, and trying to live the old ways, yet struggling with weight loss at the same time. What people need to do is suck it up for a while, get their weight under control, then have the holiday meals as they used to be because they won't need to worry about it.

  14. I think that food is a very important part of a celebration. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving...they're all occasions that are shared around the dinner table. Whether your laughing about a food flub or ooohing over a much loved, traditional dish, there's always conversation where there's food.

  15. All the food looks great! Can't wait for you to re-create some of it!