Thursday, 5 January 2012
The importance of food
Food ranks highly in the imagination of most healthy people. I can connect some of my happiest moments to specific meals. My father, God rest him, used to make a superb chicken dish, the precise recipe for which went with him to the grave. In my memory I can direct my gaze, in the manner of Google street view, first at the dish in the centre of the table and then round in turn to each member of my family, happily tucking into the food. At seminary the sisters used to cook a superb pasta in a salmon cream sauce to get us through the rigours of days of abstinence. I can still see Suor Angelia holding a big vat of the stuff, beaming at us. One marvellous evening after a long walk in the Malvern Hills with priest friends we got back to the cottage where we were staying and ate a crab pasta first course, zinging with fresh herbs, followed by doorstep-size steaks. It was on that occasion, I remember, that I looked round at my companions and said, "Do you know I learnt most of what I know about the faith from my parents; seminary was just a topping up," and the others, more or less to a man, said that that was their experience too.