Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love...part 1

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert last year and immediately was drawn in to this story of a woman who after a terrible divorce takes off in search of the self that she had lost. I saw the movie last weekend, and it did not disappoint. As a mother of two children, my fantasy of taking off to Rome in search of myself and some really fantastic Italian food gets zapped pretty fast. Although, when life with a 2 and 4 year old gets crazy, I feel like I could run off to Bali, my kids kind of need mom to stick around. Women love this story, even cynical women soften and are able to get lost in Elizabeth's story of surrendering and searching for worldly pleasures, connection to spirit and ultimately love. I believe that it's easy to connect to this story because I think in the end we all want those same things Elizabeth went looking for and found in Eat, Pray, Love. We all want to experience joy and pleasure of our senses, we all want to feel in tune with our inner self/spirit and I believe that if you boil down what each of us want, it links back to love. So, here's the question, how can the average person who can't quit their job or leave their children and husband tackle this journey of self? I will explore this question with "eat" in mind.


I think that other than the obvious, eat represents to me experiencing all types of sensory pleasures. However, in my humble opinion, there are very few other things as joyful as losing myself to a delicious meal. Fresh roasted beets and creamy goat cheese drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Earthy and creamy mushroom soup sprinkled with fresh parsley. Succulent crab dipped in butter....okay now I'm getting hungry. My friends who know me very well, know that I take my food very seriously, enjoying each moment. I tend not to be a scarf down a sandwich on the go person. I enjoy dining alone, with a book. Experiencing new tastes, restaurants I've always wondered about. Why not try out that little restaurant you always drive by? What about our other senses? Listen to some beautiful music that soothes you, cheers you and brings you joy. Take the time to smell the coffee as it's brewing in the morning, get yourself some lavender scented linen spray for your pillow at night. Sarah Ban Breathnach has a follow up book to Simple Abundance called "Romancing the Ordinary." This book is filled with many ideas to delight in sensory joys for each season. Eating is definitely my favourite way to connect to my senses. It's mid August, get yourself some fresh tomatoes and season with cracked pepper and sea salt, some hearty white bread (like french or italian), and make yourself a "Tomato Crunch." My sister in-law used to own a restaurant that served gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches, I worked there for a time. The menu changed weekly and seasonally, this was one of my favourite menu items in the summer time and is extremely simple to prepare at home.

Tomato Crunch

1 summer fresh tomato
2 slices of hearty white bread ( I love whole wheat bread for most things, but in this case, it must be white bread)
1 handful of plain potato chips ( preferably kettle cooked like "Miss Vickie's")
1 tbsp mayo, butter, salt and pepper to taste.


Slice Tomatoes nice and thick, then season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Spread bread once done with a bit of butter (optional) but I think it helps the bread to not get soggy from the mayo
spread bread with mayo
Assemble with tomatoes and then a layer of chips

Note: You could toast the bread if you wanted to but the "crunch" is best coming from the chips alone, with the soft bread.


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