There have been some exciting firsts this year. We’ve made our own kimchi, granola, canned pears, and pickled beets for the first time. We also joined a vegetable and a beef CSA. This is on top of other exciting things we do with our time, like make bread, bake delicious goods, make cream cheese, and of course, make our meals. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but a lot of my life feels like it revolves around food: eating it, discussing it, talking about it, thinking about it, growing it, and acquiring it.
When I recount the delicious foods that we made on the weekend to friends, more than once, we’ve been called hippies. Then, I was reading an article somewhere about how cooking has become a trendy hippie thing to do. As far as I am aware, I don’t wear tie-dye in my conscious life, I don’t smoke joints, I don’t own a boom box, and I don’t really listen to funky music. Neither do a lot of the folks I know who love to make food. So why is making food a hippie thing to do?
Not having grown up in the 60’s or 70’s, I did a quick search online to find out more about the typical traits of hippies. The lists I found include everything that I mentioned above (traits that I don’t have) but also include loving the earth (reusing rather than buying new, minimizing pollution, acquiring recyclable goods, making your own stuff), doing your part to make the world better (or at least not make it worse), moving and travelling freely and lightly, embracing ‘Eastern’ religions and spirituality (yoga and meditation), and championing issues like gay rights through non-violent demonstrations.
Looking around me, I think there’s a combination of two factors that contribute to this “cooking is hippie” concept: people generally place more value (spend more time) on watching television or being on an electronic device than on cooking and there is a general belief that cooking is an ordeal and that it takes a lot of preparation, time, and overall energy…a lot more than they’re willing to spend. So when my friends see us making food from scratch (that is otherwise easily available for purchase at the local supermarket), they think it’s out there.
I’m really enjoying my heightened conscientious decision-making. That sounds hoity toity but basically, it just means I think about the choices that I make every time I’m making them. In this case, I’ve applied it to the food that we bring into the home and it certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t bring chocolate or chips into the house. I think cutting myself off completely from foods that I enjoy on occasion will only make me want it more. I do, however, decide to purchase awesome chocolate (koko’s chocolates, Camino, and Hummingbird are local favourites) that is made so well that one square satiates me more than a whole Cadbury bar ever could. And I occasionally enjoy a small bowl full of Kettle chips. So what! My favourite quote of the year? There is no such thing as good or bad food, just bad habits. Amen.