Not how many calories, or how much time do you have to scarf before your next errand or your next television program.
Not how much fat is in it, or what package it came it.
Not artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or dye colors.
At its best, dining is an event.
It is a child's giggle over sugared toast.
It is conversation with friends and family.
It is quality time.
It is meaningful moments.
It is memories.
I think too many people have forgotten that.
A wonderful post by Orangette offers a great example.
A previous post I wrote about baking bread is another example.
Or this quote (also from a previous post) by Tessa Kiros, author of the cookbook Falling Cloudberries.
"There are some things that don't change much. I find the smell of a dish, or the way a certain spice is crushed, or just a quick look at the way something has been put on a plate, can pull me back to another place and time. I love those memories that seem so far away, yet you can hold them and carry them with you, even forget them, and then, with a single taste or hint or a smell, be chaperoned back to a beautiful moment."
The PBS cooking series Diary of a Foodie, by Gourmet Magazine, features chefs, farmers, and artisans.
Do yourself a favor and watch the episodes (online here).
The book Joie de Vivre is more than a cookbook, but an example of living life to the fullest--and let me tell you, exuberance in living involves enjoying food.
Eating can be, should be, a joyful event.
Another quotation (from yet another previous post), by Elizabeth Gilbert, from the book Eat, Pray, Love says it well.
"But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one's life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn to speak a language for no higher purpose than it pleases your ear to hear it? Or nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favorite fountain? And then do it again the next day?"