Food Feels

Food for thought: what makes a home-cooked meal special?

a.) That sense of a connection – to loved ones or even a personal history

b.) Generational learning handed down in a recipe.

c.) The ritual of a shared meal at a table – breaking bread.

d.) A sticky mixture of all of the above, with a few secret ingredients thrown in.

My answer: d.

Home-cooked meals are what food should be – Mindful, nourishing and relational.

But a home-cooked meal can feel just as special when eaten far from home.

A fragment of memory: We arrived in Tirana, Albania with more luggage than knowledge – dragging a hazy uncertainty about the eastern block. I had heard of Albanian gangs and sex trafficking and not much else. So it was with uneasy feelings that I arrived.

The first thing that happened: a stranger took us for a meal that was cooked “just like his mamma made it”. He ordered for us in Albanian – and lent us the money for the four courses. I will probably never know exactly what we ate that day, and I sadly can’t recall his name. I do and will remember the difference between when I walked into that restaurant and when I walked out. Everything about that city felt different.

Albania is one of my favourite countries in Europe*. I am not sure if I would feel the same way about it if I had not eaten that meal.

Therein lies the magic of a home cooked meal. We chose Albania at random: a pin stuck into a map. The home-cooked meal made me feel at home: that pinpoint became an axis for the globe to spin on. To me, a home is a centre of gravity.

Presently, I am staying in my childhood home. This morning I stood in my pantry. With my eyes still asleep my hand knew exactly were to find the light switch. I cooked breakfast, and ate it sitting on the veranda, watching Jacaranda flowers rain down from the tree – gravity in motion.



Homely Porridge



Almond Milk

Coconut Oil

Mixed Berries

1.) Pour almond milk over a handful of oats.

2.) heat in the microwave for a minute

3.) Add Berries and half a teaspoon of coconut oil

4.) Heat for 30 seconds

5.) Eat somewhere cozy.

* We stayed at my all time favourite hostel in Tirana. The restaurant is just down the street. see

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