Thursday, March 30, 2023

A PreK Gourmet

 My four-year-old proudly walked over to me, holding a stone aloft in his small hands. “Dinner!” he proclaimed, before holding out the stone, on which lay a selection of mint leaves. I ate a couple, and he scurried off to his “jungle”—a corner of our house that is overgrown with grass, weeds, and some variety of mint plant that I thought had died off long ago.

As my son happily continued to work and play in his “jungle,” nibbling on green onions and mint leaves, my mind drifted to the “local food movement.” With its farm-to-table meals, foraging classes, and countless workshops offering expertise in a variety of topics, there is a wealth of information and resources for people who desire to get “back to the land.” However, I’ve noticed that there also can be a trend to complicate matters.


We have so much scientific knowledge and technology now that something as ordinary as composting can become a huge ordeal that one must thoroughly research, buy or build equipment for, and energetically dive into with enthusiasm. Our desire to know and learn can push us to view tasks—that our ancestors saw as simple parts of everyday life—and turn them into massive projects. I imagine walking into one of those exclusive, high-caliber restaurants specializing in local food, and, as I begin to shell out a hundred dollars for a multi-course meal, seeing the details of the “salad course”:

Fresh mint leaves accompanied by the crisp spice of winter onions, served on a rustic platter.

In other words, the mint leaves and onions that my preschooler pulled out from our yard and stuck on a rock. Who knew that my four-year-old was a gourmet chef? 

I think it’s encouraging to see so many people interested in local food and foraged ingredients, but more and more, I’m coming to realize that I can overcomplicate thing. As much as I love looking at the gorgeous photos from those fancy restaurants that feature a one gorgeous bite of food on each plate, I also try to remember that we can still embrace the beauty of local and slow food in simple ways.

Starting off a weekday morning by making pita bread isn't a typical
occurrence around here, but it was a soothing start to a recent day. 

It's a truth my young children embody, and it’s one that I’m continually relearning. There’s no need to overcomplicate life—whether it involves food, politics, or activities. Instead, we can embrace simplicity, slow ourselves down, and nibble that mint leaf from the overgrown flower bed as we spend time in our local community.

It’s a small action, but a step nonetheless that perhaps we can each take in actively growing in peace and sharing God’s peace with each other. 

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I was literally researching the science of composting recently. Haha! The other day I decided to just start throwing stuff together, and figure it'll all work out. Such a good point here, and so true. We can easily overcomplicate things!