Food enhances many areas of life. Culinary treats add an extra touch to events and circumstance. Whether one is celebrating or commiserating, food is the centerpiece. Every day food is used for so much more than the utilitarian purpose of fueling your bodies; you use food to communicate feelings and emotions and often your food choices are a clue to the state of your mind.
Some of the meaningful ways food enhances lives:
* Giving comfort
When individuals are sick, you might come to their bedside with chicken soup. “Feed a cold,” you might advise as you ply loved ones with orange juice, hot tea and gelatin. When a child falls and skins his knee, you might offer a cookie as the cure. When a loved one suffers a broken heart, you might offer a whole jar of cookies in hopes of somehow relieving the pain.
* Expressing condolence
A death in the family, a major surgery or an individual’s job loss will be the impetus for sending a message of sympathy through a warm dish of lasagna, homemade bread, or the ultimate chocolate cake. When sorrow surrounds you and words fail, food bridges the gap and reveals the empathy and sympathy in your heart.
* Offering congratulations
Every milestone and achievement in your life is apt to be celebrated with themed culinary masterpieces. Weddings, baby showers, graduations, career promotions, religious ceremonies and national holidays all have at their center wonderful offerings of edible treats. More often than not, planning and preparing what will be served is the largest part of the camaraderie and excitement of the special event.
* Socially connecting
The gift of food can symbolize love, generosity, kindness, joy and nostalgia. It serves as a mood enhancer, ice breaker, tranquilizer, panacea and bonding tool for establishing and maintaining new relationships and repairing old ones, when necessary. Food fosters understanding between generations as cherished family recipes are passed down and treasured.
Food transcends cultural differences and language barriers. Regardless of your age, creed, color or gender, you have one universal commonality; you love to communicate and share with food.
Some are inveterate collectors of food related items. They travel the country, or even the world, and accumulate recipes, menus, dishes, untensils and cookbooks to commemorate their dining experiences.
There is immeasurable educational value derived from food. You learn to cook, to measure, to plant a garden, to store properly, to embrace the healthy and reject the negative edibles of your diets. History, geography, science, politics, psychology and medicine all have food related components to their lessons.
Food is the universal language of love. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” may not be literally true, but it is a popular adage you have grown up with and recognize by it’s true meaning; offerings of food are an expression of love. What better way to receive the message of “I love you” than by a hand extended your way, holding a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” (Virginia Wolf)