The Importance of Kitchen Table Connections

An excerpt from this week’s Foodie Underground column on EcoSalon.

The end of 2012 was a whirlwind. In the world of current affairs, December wasn’t what you would call an uplifting month. It seemed that everything and everyone was in transition, trying to get in one last gasp of air before the end of the year. It was easy to feel overwhelmed. It was on the heels of this that I went to visit my friend Sara for a night of good food and conversation; a night of foodies so to say.

Sara is the kind of friend that immediately upon arrival points and says, “the tea and chocolate is in that cabinet,” upon which you open the pantry door to find a multitude of mason jars with whole grains and more kinds of black tea than a tea shop. In the morning your coffee is already poured. We get along well to say the least.

We had a lot to talk about. New projects and ventures. Recent cooking endeavors. What we wanted for the new year. All those topics that are best had at the end of a long week and over a meal of comfort food.

As her boyfriend cooked up a risotto with green beans and shallots (news flash: risotto is basically an upscale macaroni and cheese, with the same comfort food benefits that you need in the dark of winter), the conversation inevitably turned to politics and community. When you’re making food, it often does.

The environment? Yeah, we need to work on that.

Women’s rights? Yes, more of that too please.

Food justice? Where do we even begin?

When it comes to change, we often look to our political leaders, quickly getting upset when change doesn’t go the way we want it to. We get frustrated when things don’t go our way, upset when tragedy strikes and angry at the current state of affairs. What is the way to change that? Build community. Interact with our friends and neighbors. Help someone who doesn’t have a meal.

Food brings us together, and as Sara pointed out, there’s a true benefit to what she called, “kitchen table connections.”

“It’s not macro or micro, but kitchen table,” she said. This idea of the kitchen table as a place not only for conversation, but for affecting change, stuck with me.

Just like the town hall was once a meeting place and epicenter of community building, maybe in our over digitized, high-paced world, the kitchen table is the place for us to reconnect. Not just a place to think about what we’re eating, but also who we’re eating it with.

Read the rest over at EcoSalon.

Image: miss.libertine

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