A ‘meal’ is an eating occasion. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until the 90s when a ‘family meal’ properly became a natural tradition. In the past parents have had no reason to sit and eat with their children, they were often away at boarding schools or sent away to work. This may not have changed if it wasn’t for WW2, when many lost or couldn’t afford to have servants working for them and many women had to learn to cook and prepare meals for themselves. It was at this point that families started to eat together properly and it slowly became our most-loved tradition.
Certainly in my childhood, I have been brought up to eat almost every meal as a family together. It’s this kind of ‘occasion’ that has shaped my relationship with food and mealtimes. For me, a meal is a time to reflect alone or with others around the table, to consume good, delicious food and take a little time out from everything else.
My boyfriend will be the first to say I am a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to this. If the table isn’t set with placemats, napkins, napkin rings and condiments then it just doesn’t feel quite the same! Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place. I am just as comfortable living like a backpacker and eating corn on the cob fresh on the sandy beaches of Thailand, or like a student and gobbling up my beans on toast! However, if you have the opportunity to put in the time and effort to sit down as a family or a couple then it’s a great way to have good conversation and relax.
Now, there are two types of people, the ones that ‘Eat to Live’ and the others that ‘Live to Eat’. I can 100% say that I am the latter of those two. My kind of Art is a well presented fillet of salmon, a beautifully iced coffee cake or some neatly wrapped sushi, and food is how a lot of people, like myself, express themselves.
For me, it feels like I’m having ‘date night’ every night because we both put effort into the meal. I might cook whilst he sets the table or vice versa. We might experiment together and do a course each to expand each other’s taste buds. For example, I am rather into my spicy food (however I like to still be able to savour every flavour), and throughout the time we have been together I have slowly increased the amount of chopped chilli to a meal, and have dabbled between dried and fresh chilli. Now we can pretty much handle the same level of spicy food and not only cope – but enjoy it too!
In the current economic climate people are choosing to eat in a lot more, which is great for experimenting and saving money. Although if you are able to go out to restaurants every now and then it’s just another great occasion to try something new, spend time with those closest to you or maybe introduce your children to different foods from all over the globe.
My food section aims to provide some delicious global recipes, features on food markets across the world, but also some cracking restaurant reviews from establishments I have eaten in. Most importantly the ones worth going back to! I’ll set the scene, give you the cost details and let you know why it was so worth it (or not!).
Much Love, Miss Barlow xoxo