This morning I’m dedicating “Photo-Friday” to food. More specifically, this week’s fare here at Maul-Hall. That’s right, I’m joining the rest of the nation in taking this opportunity to up our game when it comes to eating.
Philosophically – and spiritually too – Rebekah and I have always understood and valued the relationship between food and community, between eating together and nurturing relationships, between “the dinner hour” and the heart of being a family together.
When the children still lived at home we made a point of making sure we ate together as a family. At the dining room table; no television, no phone calls. Conversation of substance was also a deliberate part of our commitment to cultivating an environment where the exchange of ideas, talking about what is going on in the world, intelligent dialogue, and sharing our deeper selves made dinner together a valuable family experience.
Then, always, we would finish with a reading from the Bible and prayer around the table. If our children’s friends were there they would participate too.
We didn’t eat fancy, but dinner was always an occasion. Today Rebekah and I may have refined our tastes in terms of menu, but we still enjoy dinner (and every other meal together) as an opportunity for great conversation and growth in our relationship.
There’s a favorite story I have probably shared before, where I’m in line at the grocery store. The woman in the next aisle has a cart literally overflowing with food – corn dogs, fries, burgers, donuts, pop-tarts, white bread, mac and cheese, ketchup, sodas etc… I have less, maybe 20 items – asparagus, tenderloin, jasmine rice, halibut, Dijon, wine…
- I glance over and say, “That’s a lot of groceries! Elementary aged kids?”
- “That’s right,” she said, evaluating my cart. “Empty nest?”
- “You bet!” I replied.
- She sighed and looked wistful. “Lower grocery bills?” she concluded.
- “Nope,” I smiled, “better food.”
So enjoy these Friday Food Photos. Some, like the amazing-looking burger with white cheddar and caramelized onions, needs no explanation. But others, such as the pork tenderloin with asparagus and the shrimp with risotto, warrant some more description.
Risotto is certainly worth the effort to achieve. For mixed veggies I often caramelize onions, add some garlic, then put in my fresh produce such as mushrooms, carrots and asparagus. My hint on the baked potato is to soak them in salt water for a few hours before baking – makes them extra fluffy. Finally, real butter is always better than margarine; not only in taste but because it’s not made of plastic!
Happy eating. But, more importantly, enjoy quality family time around the table – what an opportunity! – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.