Monday, November 12, 2007

Gratitude Monday – Playing With Food

My life is good. I suppose if I thought about it long enough I could complain, but why would I do that? If you dwell on the bad you’ll call more of it to you. If you wish to live like that it’s your business, but don’t come around me. I want nothing to do with you.

Why are we so ungrateful? Here in North America we’ve got so much more than so many and we still want more. Even our poor have it better than many others around the world. For the most we have more than we need. And we rub it in to the rest of the world by tossing away food, clothing, furniture, and most anything else that bores us.

Last week I wrote about food banks and clients who are flummoxed by some of the offerings. I’m grateful that I’ve learned how to work with the different beans and grains and I’m especially grateful that I can make a reasonably adequate hummus from scratch.

I have a cupboard stuffed with foods that can’t be distributed for whatever reason. This gives me a chance to experiment and create and learn. And it’s an acceptable way to play with my food.

I’m grateful for this opportunity and for the chance to learn while eating well.


the Bag Lady said...

You're making hummus at your house? The Bag Lady will be right there!!
You make some valid points, Leah. We certainly do live in the land of plenty, and the Bag Lady, for one, is grateful for our bounty of food and opportunity.

Leah J. Utas said...

Yes, I surely do, Bag Lady. It's lovely with tortilla chips. I'll be happy to serve it to you any time.

Leah J. Utas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann (bunnygirl) said...

You've said what's often on my mind!

Only the very, very poorest (as in under-the-bridge poor) in our country live anywhere close to how the poor in most of the world live. You can drive through the slums of my city and see an air conditioner in every shotgun hack and a TV through the intact glass of every living room window.

In most of the world, that makes you MIDDLE class!!!

Now, I'm not saying it's bad to aspire to better things. Nope! But I find it so tiresome when people (like my husband *ahem*) feel like they need to dash out and buy the latest Guitar Hero ('cause I and II aren't enough) or cell phone ('cause the fully functional one strapped to his belt isn't small enough or cool enough).

I've noticed that many Americans are totally hypnotized by marketing. I almost never watch TV or movies or open up a non-educational magazine any more. And I'm content with everything I have and feel surrounded by riches.

But when I watch TV for a little while or leaf through a Cosmo? OMG. Very quickly I start feeling like my car isn't good enough, my house not cool enough, my clothes and hair not fashionable enough. And the solution is to buy, Buy, BUY!!!

Yeah. Reason enough to stay away from the media. Folks have no idea what it's doing do their perception of reality because they've quite literally grown up with these market-fed values.

I wish everyone would drop out of the consumer culture for a few weeks by staying away from all popular media, just to see the difference it makes to their happiness. For anyone who has never tried it, I guarantee an eye-opening experience.

We're a lot more blessed than the media ever wants to let on!

And as an aside about food, I decided to get serious about Sunday cook-for-the-week again. I made a lovely lentil daal to be the basis of various meals this week. Anything with curry is totally yum to me! :-)

Crabby McSlacker said...

I promise when I come over for hummus I will not double dip!

Great post--I love gratitude Mondays. It really does help me keep in mind how fortunate I am.

Leah J. Utas said...

Bunnygirl - I haven't traveled in any of the poorest of the poor countries yet, but even in places such as Costa Rica, our middle class is ridiculously rich by comparison.
It's difficult to drop out of consumer culture. Even if we resist the purchase of just one thing, then we've made a statement. We do not have a big screen TV, or a microwave, and we have yet to succumb to cell phones. We're practically rebels.

Good for you for the lentil daal. Sounds wonderful. And curries are really good for you, too.

I'll make sure you have your own bowl of hummus, Crabby. You can dip to your heart's content.

Hilary said...

A little double-dipping never killed anyone (she said post-humus-ly).

Reb said...

Oh Leah, you are so right. The Goodwill & the Sally Ann here won't take things if they are not in perfect condition! Tried to give them a chair a few years ago that had a bit of dirt spattered on the skirt, they would not take it. It took me five minutes to brush the dirt off, spray it with cleaner and wipe it clean.
You can't imagine, living in an apartment, the stuff that we see thrown away when people are moving.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary - "post-humus-ly." Dang you're good.

Reb- It's a sad, throw it out world.
I don't even want to think about what you get to see discarded.

Terrie Farley Moran said...


I am constantly amazed at the amount of throw-aways I see. Only people call them "upgrades." In one way we are blessed to live in societies that consider upgrading normal. In an other way, it gets harder and harder to teach the young people the principle of sacrifice for the greater good.

Today I had a routine medical procedure and the results were good. For that I am grateful.


the Bag Lady said...

Terrie, glad to hear your results were good!!

Leah J. Utas said...

dfTerrie - I'm so glad the results were good.
Yes, we're blessed to live in the abundance that allows for upgrades, but that's no excuse for waste.