Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Importance of Lunch by John Allemang

I just read a great book by John Allemang. Aside from the fun fact that he's a local and so refers to places I know well (Fran's Restaurant in Toronto, St. Jacobs Market), he has an attitude toward food that I can wholeheartedly - er - swallow. He asserts that people have taken an adversarial stance toward food; we think it's out to kill us. We fret about cholesterol and fat and sodium. We cut out sugar and gluten and joy. We act as if "good" food were medicine - good only because it's a source of anti-oxidants and Omega 3s. We forget the simple, vital pleasure of just enjoying what we eat.

Last night I hosted a potluck for my Edible Garden club. Everyone brought dishes they had concocted primarily from ingredients they'd grown in their garden. There was beet salad, fresh green beans, hearty chili, coleslaw, kale and tomato dip, crisp cucumbers, homemade grape juice, lavender cookies. Things I'd never tried before. We sat on the back patio in a cooling breeze and let the astonishing flavour of yellow ground cherries explode in our mouths. Great food and interesting conversation, shared by near strangers, all brought together by their common passion for growing food. No one weighed the fat content. No one pontificated about the life-promoting qualities of deep-yellow vegetables. We just ate. Swapped gardening tips. And laughed. Which is, I think, the most important ingredient of a meal.

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