winterlion 's favourite cookook is extending the table. I bought a copy off abebooks to help pare down my food budget. the theory is simple, pick poorer countries, and use recipes from there.
so far, i haven't cooked a single thing, yet i have learned a lot from the book, i fell into it like a novel, reading it from beginning to end. the message is gratitude and generosity. this recipe book was compiled by mennonite missionaries, and is filled with stories. food is so scarce, yet these people were so generous to the missionaries, even though the missionaries had much more than their hosts. guests were always welcome. food was always shared.
I have been remembering food shared with friends, and feeling that those moments are part of the world's tradition of community. I have been looking at my own plate with gratitude. I feel a kinship to these far off places where hospitality is a spiritual, rather than an intellectual tradition. it's not about rules set down by polite society, it's about the kinship of humanity.