Sheilah Rosen - Food and Love

*Food. Food is a wonderful thing. I was so thrilled to come home early today, go shopping at Trader Joe's and the regular market and then cook, cook, cook. I am quite efficient in the kitchen and I believe that many foods need to "marinate." Everyone knows that soups and spaghetti sauce are better on the second day. I marinate meat the moment I get home from the market (even if I freeze it - it marinates as it defrosts!)

*Love. Love and food are closely related. My wonderful husband always asks, "What have you cooked with love today?" He says he can tell the difference in the taste of the food if I cook with love. (you know, I believe he is right)

*Respect. My sister, Kayla, is a nutritionist and a professor in London, Ontario. Scientifically, the handling of food, and preparation of the food impacts the nutritional value. (no wonder I like to cook and eat food in my own house). Complex and simple studies have been done to measure vitamins in vegetables. Tests for vitamin amounts - peeling carrots over a bowl with nice music playing yielded the highest vitamin results. Tests with-peeling carrots over a garbage pail yielded the lowest vitamin results (and they say plants don't have feelings!)

Recommended Reading - Eat right 4 your type by Dr. P. D'AMAMO with C.  Whitney. Your blood type" O, A, B, AB" determines your diet and your health. (Yes, O types can eat more meat than any other types...) Great resource book for eating and living right for your personal profile.

*Food Comments: I love to eat but I am not picky. I am fortunate to have inherited my dad's metabolism but have a broader ranger of tastes. However, I like leftovers and can eat the same thing if it is tasty, over and over again. My husband is only happy eating different and varied foods all the time. Cooking large amounts doesn't work with him. My kids (they are delicious in their own right!) love raw vegetables. Thank God for the reasonably priced, fresh produce markets on Fairfax. We need to take a trip twice a week to keep up with the consumption. Standard after school fair - bean sprouts, cucumber cut in wagon wheel shapes, tomatoes (roma or cherry) red peppers cut in strips, and baby carrots.

*Media. The media is the worst. My 7th grade English teacher mentioned that we hardly even think about what we eat, let alone TASTE it. I love my family in Ireland who prepare meals based on what is ripe in the garden. A lovely and wholesome idea. When was the last time the media showed someone in their yard, pulling a carrot or potato from the ground? In LA, the radio stations have been raving about a fat free potato chip that tastes great but has a serious health warning on the label (thanks, but I'll stick with Lay's or make my own)

*Carolyn Naugler: When I was in grade 7 (same as Shawna is now) we had an English exercise to write about when we were starving. The teacher poo-pooed the essays and said none of us really knew what starving was.  Until Carolyn Naugler stood up and said her essay was true and she KNEW what starving was. She went on to explain they were on a camping trip, had food poisoning and it was days before they could see a doctor or get real food that they could keep down. I remember clearly because the English teacher's name was Mrs. Crummy. We all made a joke that she should have given a few crumbs to the Naugler's to avoid starvation.

*Delicious Memorable Meals: It must have been on a Friday night, at my own house, on Shabbat. Of course! But they are all memorable. Delicious food, pretty plates, nice table setting, flowers, special feelings, good company. Food is an experience, not just a meal. On Friday night, we Jews live and enjoy the fruit of our labor, such is the divine taste of a Shabbat meal served at my house. NO one goes away hungry. Everyone leaves satisfied, physically and spiritually. I love and I repeat love to eat my own cooking. (Maybe Mark is right when asks, "What have you cooked with love today?") I always cook with love for the Shabbat meal. It actually brings tears to my ears that I can offer someone a meal and give them sustenance.

*Memorable meals: Is it ever the food? No. It is the combination of ambiance, company, company, company, location, and service if applicable.  Mark and I recently went to see the movie "City of Angels" released April 98. He said the most important thing that the movie did for him was to remind him that the little things in life are those that make a difference (example: scene where angel asked human to describe eating a pear) I actually could taste the pear that the actress described because a memory had already been etched on my taste buds. Delish.

*Conclusion: Love, life and food are good. The Jews have many prayers for food which basically forces you to make the acknowledgement that "food is life." And more importantly, if you acknowledge this and appreciate it, you'll get an extra 10 miles to the gallon at no extra charge. What goes around, comes around.

Sheilah Rosen

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