Finishing your peas. Letting Dad have the last pork chop. Licking the mixing spoon. And who can ignore the Christmas Lunch? We all have relationships with two things: food and family. They might be conventional, they’re probably not.
Today we hosted one of our bi-monthly Hub Lunches – informal sessions based on whatever members suggest. Today the invitation was this: Come to this informal lunch run by Hub Host and Food Stuff founder, Holly Lambert. We will look at the role of food, cooking and eating in the family, how peoples’ relationships (and tastes) change, and we’ll share stories about that really funny thing your Nan does with a Brussel sprout and much, much more. We ask that you bring some food to share (be it Mama’s homemade pumpkin pie, the brownies your best friend brings you when you’re sick or the sandwich you pick up at Pret), an open mind, and if possible… other family members as well.
We held the lunch during one of the best moment of the week – Sexy Salad Club. It looks like this:
The inspiration for the lunch came from the fact that, as it states in the invite, we all have relationships with two things – food and family. And that can look like lots and lots of different things! We talked about how food and family often means big celebration (birthdays, holidays, religious festivals) but most commonly means a chance to spend time together, talk to each other, share, ground and reflect. The food can be good, bad, it doesn’t matter. If someone (and there was mixed results on the who cooks more, men or women question) has gone to the effort to cook for the family, you should be thankful and enjoy it.
Some people’s Dad ruled the dinner table. not with an iron fist but with a hungry belly. Dad’s seem to like pies, live and onions, casseroles and heartwarming fayre. Mum’s spend lots of time thinking about what to cook for dinner. Oh the stress of it all! Feeding a family where everybody wants something different and at different times. Trying to think of something new and interesting each night. And the cost! Meat seems to be quite a new addition to the family dinner table due to this cost, and availability. People’s tastes change as they get older yet reflect back emotionally to childhoods – so for instance some people said they were used to homecooked food during happy times in childhood and now attach happiness to homecooked food in their adult life. if it’s fresh and home cooked, all must be well. Equally, following over indulgence as a child, some things are to be avoided as adults – rice pudding seemed to be a common theme!
What interests me the most about this subject is the individuals relationship with food, as influenced by the family. Take my Nanny for example. She worked in the troops kitchens during WWII and has hated it ever since. She loves food, and has the waistine to prove it God love her, but hates to cook. Or shop for food. Or talk about it. Or think about if after the point when the knife and fork goes down. However when she had family living at home, she obviously had to engage with it in a way that suited everyone. At the ripe old age of 87 now though, I feel she is finally able to interact with it how she likes. Best shown by the HUGE slug of rum she puts on her porridge every morning. What an amazing way to start the day. I cannot wait to get to the age where I do things purely because I both want to, and can. I’m almost there but rum on the old porridge might not go down too well with my fellow Hosts!
Anyway, I could talk about food and family forever. I love them both unconditionally. Have you got a story to share? We’d love to here it.