Feeding the Soul

I’ve been re-watching Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix. One of the episodes this week was “Breaking the Ice” from season 1. In it, Trip grabs a piece of pecan pie in the officer’s mess and sits down with T’Pol, who criticizes his choice, stating that the dessert is mostly sugar and will not be beneficial to his body. “It might not be good for the body… But it sure is good for the soul,” Trip replies. Oh how right he is. Food not only nourishes our bodies; it nourishes our souls as well.

No journey to holiness would be complete without food. The human body needs food not only to survive but to thrive. And not just any kind of food. Good food, delicious food, beautiful food. Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, states that “beauty will save the world.” One of the simplest ways I can bring beauty into my world is through the simple act of preparing food for my family. Like so many other aspects of my life, I have often treated food in a purely utilitarian manner–we need nourishment, it doesn’t matter how it comes. At one point, I was even a proponent of being able to get all my nutrition from pills! With the grace of God, the advice of a good priest, and issues of Bon Appétit magazine, I set out to bring beauty to this barren part of my domestic life. So from time to time I will post photos of some of my better dishes. Especially on Sundays, I try to put more effort into the meal. What better day to throw my heart and soul into cooking? I’ve just been fed by my Savior from His precious Body and Blood. Now I go into the kitchen to carry on that work of feeding souls in my capacity as wife and mother.

Here are some shots from three different dishes from three different days.

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This is butter basted salmon with hazelnut relish from the June 2014 issue of Bon Appétit.

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Asparagus with bacon and hard boiled eggs (Bon Appétit July 2014). Should have plated this one differently.

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Cucumber fennel salad with herbed yogurt (Food & Wine Aug. 2013). Was supposed to be goat yogurt, but I couldn’t find any.

“A man of cheerful and good heart will give heed to the food he eats” (Sir. 30.25).

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7 thoughts on “Feeding the Soul

  1. I needed to hear this. I have been thinking how much easier my life would be if no one in my family needed to eat!! meal planning (as if) grocery shopping, cooking, dishes, diapers etc. Well, it might be easier, but it wouldn’t be better! These look delicious! On a side note I saw this cookbook the other day, thought you might be interested. GF and saints feast days. http://carrotsformichaelmas.com/our-book/

    • It’s the truth. Food is a huge part of our lives! Thanks for the link. The cookbook looks fantastic, and I’m enjoying her blog as well!

      Bon Appetit is a great magazine. Some of the things in there are waaaaay beyond my skill and budget, but they also have a lot of great, simple recipes. You could probably get it at the library or just check out their website. Is elder son old enough to chop veggies?

  2. He might be, I tend to underestimate how much they can do around the house. In his words, “I’m five Mommy, now I can do things.” Also I’ve been thinking about how I often try to fill real spiritual hunger (for the Word of the lord and the Eucharist) with physical food.

    • Oh, that’s a big one. I got a little catechism on that in the confessional once. Now I try to remember when I’m in the kitchen searching for something to nibble on: am I truly hungry for food? Or is my soul asking to be fed? Most of the time it’s the latter. Still not great at the follow-through though!

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