10 December 2014

Providing food for loved ones

One of the best things, for me, about being a wife-mother-grandmother who cooks is providing good food for the people I love. It's not only the selection and cooking of food I love, it's also providing warm and comfortable situations when family connections are strengthened while food is being shared. Food brings people together and although it can become something mundane and uninteresting, if love is put into it as well as effort, it becomes more than just food prepared in a certain way. It becomes a significant and important part of daily life.

I've gone from being an ordinary housewife, using my food budget to provide as much as I can for the money I had, to being someone who looks for fresh food that's been produced locally and ethically. I almost never buy beef now, if I do, it's minced beef. Usually I buy pork, chicken or fish. Now it's always free range and if I can't get that, I'll go without and use something else. It's easily done. I always check labels, and never buy products from compromised locations such as China and Thailand. I only want to be a part of a food chain that considers kindness and quality of life along with nutritional values and profit.

Even though we're not growing as much in the garden as we used to, we still grow all our salads and herbs, some of our fruit, tomatoes, cucumber, chillis, kale and chard. We might still grow potatoes, let's just wait and see. If I didn't have the space to grow food, I'd spend some of my time looking for a suitable market where I could buy the best fresh food available.

It gives me a feeling of purpose to select, prepare and serve food for Hanno and me. I see it as an important part of my homemaking to provide food that will keep us healthy and supports our values. I love when our family gets together and we sit around the kitchen table and share a meal. That is the time when we catch up with each others news, use the time to forge strong connections and solidify our family ties.

And then Christmas comes along and the family gathers to celebrate. For me, this is one of the important times of the year. It's when simple food draws families together to celebrate their union and to remember that in addition to being a strong individual they're also part of a reliable and steadfast family. It is a time when we share what's happened to all of us during the year, when we pass on family stories and when we show our younger members, by example, that there is love and respect here. I always take the opportunity to provide food and drinks that my family and friends love and will remember. Food's like that - it helps us remember special days, people and occasions. All of us need to build good relationships with those in our family. We need those relationships to last a life time and luckily, good food, shared at a kitchen table, helps us do that.

Is food just food for you or do you think it's something more than that?



  1. I still eat beef and indeed in Australia so much of our land is of such poor quality it could not grow vegetables, and grains tend to be environmentally damaging. After all wheat and long supply lines did for the Roman Empire and we still pay an environmental cost for their food production methods. I do buy sustainably produced meat and look for grass fed whenever I can get it which is surprisingly often. We have a good butcher in our town.

  2. Yay...photos...I love your photos Ronda. We menu plan around what is available. We are living on the road and where were are staying in Atherton at the moment, there is a lady with a market garden and a little roadside stall just across the road. I have been able to buy the best tomatoes I have every tasted, snapping crisp green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, sweet corn and pawpaw. Not only is the food cheaper but it is fresh and I have been able to speak with the lovely lady who grows it all. She let me take some beans without paying because I was out for a walk, saw her putting them in the stall, but I had no money on me. She trusted me, a complete stranger, to pay sometime later, which I did of course. We love cooking, preparing our meals and washing up (strange, I know) and putting the things away after....it is all part of the rhythm of our lives. My DH and I share and enjoy this part of our lives, I don't often use recipes, only my imagination which has created some lovely (never to be exactly the same when repeated) dishes. Question Ronda......why do you not eat beef anymore, but will eat pork?

  3. There are so many memories tied up with food. We celebrate with food (weddings, Christmas etc) and commiserate too (wakes etc). We demonstrate our affection with boxed chocolates and spoil little ones with an extra scoop of ice-cream. Given such a large part of our lives centres around food it is a strong way for us to send a message e.g. 'we want our animals to be treated ethically' is demonstrated via the purchase of free range meats. We often forget the impact of our purchasing power and when it comes to food we can demonstrate this power three times a day.

  4. To me food is much more than 'just food'. It's vital for building strong mental and physical health, and that's one of the most important things I've wanted to give my children. I love sharing food around the table each night, and I love to bring friends together for food too.

    Last night the kids and I ate in the back garden - homemade pizzas and salads with lots of homegrown content. I felt so incredibly lucky to have an abundance of good, natural food on the table,and to watch the children enjoying it. The garden is looking incredibly lush at the moment due to some consistent rain, finally - my happiness was complete!


  5. As usual all your food looks totally yummy Rhonda. Especially around christmas I love to bake and give baskets of cookies as gifts. I especially love to bake gingerbread men and always have the grandchildren help me ice them. You might want to look at my latest blog post where I have found a wonderful way to connect with loved ones over a cup of tea at Christmas time.

  6. Food is absolutely so much more than food! It marks and helps to celebrate seasons--I know spring is here when I crave salads, and fall means warming soups. Plus, it's just not a real birthday cake unless someone who loves you made it. Taking care with my son's eating helps to manage his type 1 diabetes. Sometimes, of course, food is more than food in less than a positive way, as when we use it to fill boredom or avoid feelings (then it's similar to empty consumerism, yes?). But learning from that is to confront our deep humanity and learn to feed ourselves properly--both with food when we are hungry and with other things when the hunger is spiritual rather than physical. Sorry to go on. I think a lot about these kinds of things!

  7. Oh Rhonda..you really should write a cookbook..I want the recipes for everything shown above!!..LOL..

  8. I still enjoy putting a good meal on the table each night even though it is just the two of us now. My husband tells me that the most common complaint of his co-workers is that their wives do not cook after the kids are grown. I have no desire to exist on take out or snack foods. Sometimes it seems that all I do is bake bread but it is the most comforting of homemade foods to me.

  9. Food is something we all need, obviously. But it is much more than that. I enjoy having the time to take the trouble over my ingredients, the way I prepare and cook and serve my food. I enjoy the whole process - usually! It means giving, it means nourishing and sharing, and giving not only the actual food, but a bit of myself, to family and friends.
    Cooking meals from other cultures takes me to far away places, and enriches my life by teaching me about the lives of other people, their foods, their cooking traditions, and they very lives.
    I have a few friends to whom cooking is a totally functional event, and one who doesn't even cook- her husband does it all! To me this is incomprehensible- as they feel about my desire to spend hours in food related activities! I'm now extending my interest by starting a square foot garden, an extension of my herb pots and containers. Small steps, but in the right direction!

  10. Food to me - as well as my family- has always been what binds us together. When our children were younger and living with us the best part of the day was spent gathered around the dinner table. Nothing could be said that wasn't funny or positive. This tradition has been passed on to this day as our children now have families of their own. My husband's grandmother taught me how to make perogi. So I will teach my grandson this weekend because we will celebrate Christmas eve at my home. Perogi will be on the menu. I canned applesauce during the summer which will also be on the menu. I can't forget the dill pickles that came from my garden will make a showing, as well. For quite a few years I have been changing over to organics, a little at a time. My family is following suit. Good food is imperative for good health. I have but one more health issue to hurdle using a change in diet and I'll be good to go.

  11. Food is really important to me, it is at the heart of my home, without it we not be able to live and function as we do. I spend so much of my time with food, ingredients, shopping, gardening, to name but a few and do not begrudge one minute of it. It is really important to me that my children appreciate how to make and enjoy good food and how it is produced.

    Lovely post and wonderful post!


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