Thursday, May 24, 2007

what does real nourishment taste like?

Does it taste like an expensive meal? Does it taste of discovery or love or nutrients? Does it taste like a childhood story?

There was a crucial moment a few years back when I learned that nourishment has many manifestations. Nourishment for the body, for instance, tastes and satisfies in a very different way than nourishment for the soul. A meal that fills the tummy can in other ways leave you feeling very empty.

During that particular time in my life, I was eating very, very well. I was in good company. I was in a constant mode of discovery. But emotionally speaking, I did not feel nourished. And for that reason, my stomach was in constant turmoil.

Nourishment for the soul and nourishment for the body go hand in hand.

Nourishment does not necessarily mean an expensive full-course meal at a nice restaurant. On the contrary, the best and most memorable meals are the ones you scrape together with what you already have in your fridge and your garden (if you’re lucky). Perhaps because there’s an even greater summit to reach, the taste is that much sweeter.

Growing up, we never had much money, so we had to be very resourceful. If I wanted cookies or cake, I would make them from scratch. That’s how I learned to bake. It’s also how I learned to be experimental in the kitchen—mixing unusual flavors and ingredients to make something tasty.

I’ll never forget running out to the garden patch and plucking a cucumber from the vine. We would eat them skin and all—still warm from the sun—dipped in vinegar and salt. A poor man’s salad to be sure. But nourishing to the core.

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