Tuesday, February 9, 2010
We're born with silver spoons in our mouths, taste buds to match, and invitations to life's lavish banquet. From our first awakening moments, instincts move us toward bountiful tastes and aromas.
These days, the rush for food is on. We pull up for fast food, order take out from delis, and pack it in at convenience stores. We line up at salad bars, food courts, and buffets to sate our appetites in a matter of minutes and, when restaurants don't serve us within the short time we allot them, we fidget and ask what's taking so long. At home, we cook the lazy way, the quick way and, when we're too tired to cook, we do it vicariously by way of television.
The wind-down philosophy of abbey style turns the tables on the feeding frenzy. Its simple table, spread with pure white linen and plain dinnerware, appears like a mirage in the desert, an oasis of calm. The table under a leafy bower (above) expresses a secular version of the abbey table--it's humble, serene, clean, and communal. Located in the village of Monterosso, one of five towns along Italy's Cinque Terre, I find it spellbinding--it suggests an antidote to the dizzying pace I often face. As time goes on, I remember it, slow down, and spend more time appreciating the tastes and aromas of food I've so graciously been given while enjoying heart-to-hearts with the company I keep.