5.27.2008

Slow(er) Food



Scenes from our Saturday trip to the farmer's market.

My obsession with the Slow Food movement began during a post-college stint at an Italian restaurant in Boulder that sported the little snail mascot in the window. It's a bit of a no-brainer I suppose... What's not to like about an organization devoted the pleasure of preparing and eating food -- a movement that sports this lovely text on their Web site?

"Slow Food is also simply about taking the time to slow down and to enjoy life with family and friends. Every day can be enriched by doing something slow - making pasta from scratch one night, seductively squeezing your own orange juice from the fresh fruit, lingering over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese - even deciding to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up."

In theory, I try to embrace the idea of Slow Food as firmly as possible, but somehow the combination of a four-year old and a baby seems to thwart my every effort. No friends, small kids are not exactly huge advocates of the Slow Food movement. Meal time at our place is all about fast. Not so much "fast food", but something prepared quickly (to avoid the epic hunger meltdowns) and most vital, (and this is the part that saddens me) consumed quickly in order to avoid the inevitable Animal House-style food fight that accompanies an extended stay at the table.

I know this, like other challenging phases of toddlerhood, will pass, and one day we'll (hopefully) be lingering over the preparation and consumption of our meals, but until then I'll do something small each day to attempt to embrace "slow" (like waking up before everyone else and frothing some milk to elevate a couple of uninterrupted cups of coffee...) Or I'll live vicariously through this household's description of a typical dinner, pulled from a Cookie home tour, that rekindled my obsession:

As a former chef, what do you make for dinner?

..."Tonight we're having a beef daube served over garlic mashed potatoes and some kind of bitter green salad. We use our pizza stone (the best thing ever) to make a simple margherita or a potato, onion, rosemary, salt, olive oil version. So good. I also like simple roast chicken, with thyme and a lemon in the body, garlicky sauted greens, pan-roasted duck, lentils with mustard, lingonberry sauce, roast pork and gigantic lima beans..."

Wow, right?

In the meantime, we'll just eat as slowly as possible.

10 comments:

mary said...

Lingering over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese? Perfect. Slowing down and enjoying what you put into your mouth is not only a real mindset change, but a social one, too...which is why it's so difficult to adhere to. I'll keep trying!

Mim Smith Faro said...

While the meal described does indeed sound quite lovely- it is so totally unrealistic for most families with children.

If you keep eating together, eventually it sinks in and slows down and it becomes more of what you are hoping for.

Some little ones are content to sit quietly, but mine never were. Now at 7 and 13, we can sit and eat and chat about our day but it's something to work towards. One day, you'll be there but don't fret because you're not there yet.

Joslyn said...

thanks mim...you give me hope!

karey m. said...

that's my old farmers' market!!

oh, you make me yearn for my past life...

Jane said...

Good luck Jos...wait until extra-curricular activities kick in. Then you will be asking for any type of meal at the table :)

Joanna Goddard said...

how adorable are those photos? :)

Michelle said...

Wow, this kind of info always inspired me, especially that chef and his dinner plans, wowzers.

lynne said...

this is SUCH a great concept. I can totally relate to the kid-difficulty of this! Whenever we try and make anything particularly lovely we inevitably end up counting forkfuls (three more before you can have dessert!), cheering them along in their unwilling participation. Oh well. Maybe one day! :)
And Joslyn, I'm mailing out your package this week! So sorry I've been SO SLOW...! I sincerely hope it will be worth the wait.

Joslyn said...

Lynne
how funny... we're big forkful counters too. i swear dinner time has turned into a negotiating session that would put union talks to shame.

no worries! i'm so excited about the dress!

Stephanie said...

You know I'm with you on this one....

About once a week my husband and I will have a late dinner after the kids are in bed. Then we can really enjoy the food...slowly. Someday I hope family dinners can be slow, full of lots of laughter, chatter, etc. Maybe when everyone is 5+ ??? Wishful thinking??