By Amanda Rohwedder for Family Foundations magazine.
Think back to the last meal that you ate…did you say grace prior to eating? Did you choose food that would nourish your body? Did you actually taste and savor your bites? Did you interact and converse with the person with whom you were sharing the meal?
Food is a connector. God could have chosen anything to provide us nourishment and He chose food and the meal. He does not create anything by chance, or accident, so there must be a spiritual significance underlying it. Food brings people together, bonds families, and creates community. The meal is meant to foreshadow the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the banquet prepared by Love itself. Each Sunday we gather to partake in the summit of our faith, the Eucharist. A meal at which Jesus directly enters into both our realities and our bodies. We commune as the Body of Christ while consuming the Body of Christ.
We also have at least three opportunities each day to slow down, intimately connect, and bask in the joy of a shared meal. A chance to CELEBRATE the goodness of life. But we more often eat on the go or inhale our food between working hours. Many people eat alone. As Christians we actually have a responsibility to create a kind of reverence surrounding mealtime. We have a responsibility to feed our body with fresh, seasonal foods in respect for the gift of our bodies and the seasonality of God’s creation. We have a responsibility to make choices that honor our body physically, because they are so deeply connected with the soul.
St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle had this to say, “It is so natural for people to seek pleasure in eating and drinking that Saint Paul, teaching early Christians to perform all their actions for the love and glory of God, is obliged to mention eating and drinking specifically, for it is difficult to eat without offending God. Most people eat like animals to satisfy their appetite.” Let us enter into mealtime with intention and purpose, allowing God to permeate this everyday occurrence. Let us not devour our food like mere animals, but instead invite God into our meals, that He might sanctify them, that He might elevate our conversation and give us grateful hearts.
The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate the sacred connection between food, tradition, and love. What are some ways that you and your family can better cherish and celebrate mealtime?
Easy Entertaining: Party Skewers!
Skewer sticks are an easy way to serve foods at parties and guests love them! You can find bamboo skewers or long toothpicks at your local grocer or party store. Simply stack the ingredients on the skewer and you’re good to go! Ingredients can be prepped a day ahead and assembled several hours ahead. Here are three varieties to serve at your next get-together.
Mini Caprese Salad Skewers
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Mozzarella, diced
Greek Antipasti Skewers
- Artichoke hearts, marinated in oil, quartered
- Roasted red peppers, sliced
- Kalamata olives, pitted
Tropical Fruit Skewers
- Kiwi, peeled and sliced
- Strawberries, halved
- Pineapple, cut into chunks
Heat 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue simmering for 10 minutes, or until it reduces to a thick syrup. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Will continue to thicken. Drizzle over Caprese skewers.
Amanda Rohwedder, M.S. is a degreed nutritionist based in Denver, Colorado. She holds a B.S. Nutritional Science and an M.S. Medical Science with a concentration in Women’s Health. She founded Temple and Table in 2017 as a way to nourish our culture by drawing a connection between physical and spiritual health. For more information on T+T’s mission, visit templeandtable.com. Please say hello on Facebook and Instagram @templeandtable.