Food and Ritual
Susan Shie’s Kitchen Tarot
It’s such a small word, easy to put into so many contexts. Bold enough to make some of us a little bit uncomfortable. And food and cooking are at the center of it all. It’s quietly what gives meaning and memory to celebrations of all kinds. It can reconnect us to a time when deeper purpose was at the center of our cooking life. The ritual of food in our lives is characteristic of all cultures. The foods we choose, and how we prepare it, for whatever occasion, helps us define our very own ceremonial meal without prescribed worship of any kind.
All cultures and all parts of the world work their magic to make food more than just satisfying. At different times of the year, we choose certain to foods to honor the occasion, be it birth, death, or holidays. Death like birth, is a time in many cultures, where food is prepared served for common ground, to reflect on the past, crystallize the present and face-forward.
In the Cape-Verdean Culture, when a person passes on, death is the marking of a yearly ritual. The same day of each year, that person is honored and remembered. In birth, women eat “special” foods to relieve the effects of childbirth and help the body to heal. There is ceremony. There is a collective memory. There is always FOOD. Home cooked food.
What we cook and eat becomes a part of this sacred process because they are the ideal conduits that bond us. It gives us a means to translate our emotions and put principles into practice. It’s what builds tradition, defines culture, roots families and feeds communities.
Food with intention, communicates our state of being and keeps us present. It also marks the end and beginning of new cycles. Whether potluck style (one of my favorites) or one household, food pulls us in, like a magnet. Food rituals nourish and ground us in our reality, heightens where we are, captures us in the moment.
Welcome the New Year with a Food Ritual. Allow cooking your food to be the bonding force that it is.
- Create ritual for your family during the holidays, based on your own values and food preferences.
- Cook more, share meals more.
- Create a new recipe.
- Take on a new practice in cooking while preparing your food.
- Open up to foods based on the intention and mood you want to create for yourself and others.
- Be mindful in the process.
Happy, Healthy New Year!