Updated: Aug 12, 2021
I absolutely love curling up on the couch with a glass of wine and any of the following...Food and Wine magazine, a cookbook with bright pictures of delicious food and instructions on how to make it, or an episode of anything on the Cooking or Food Network channels. Somewhere in me there must be an aspiring chef, but as experience has taught me, I know that this role won't even come close to fruition. While I really appreciate the art of these amazing food artisans, I realize that my place is to be the grateful recipient of such deliciousness.
For as long as I can remember, my interaction with food is the polar opposite of what you might expect from this 'aspirational chef'. For me, eating is a mundane daily chore--a chore that is amplified if I have to prepare the meal. I find it exceptionally annoying that just to eat one meal, you have to prepare it, eat it, and then clean up after it. In my opinion, the ratio of these activities is not at all fair. For arguments sake, let's say preparing is at 65%, eating at 5%, and cleaning up after at 30%. So, that is 95% work for 5% of enjoying the fruits of that labor. Hmmmmm????? When you multiply this by 3 to account for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the intermittent fasting diet becomes extremely appealing, doesn't it?
In NYC as a single mom, personal trainer, and bodybuilding addict (maybe my only healthy vice?), I knew how important food is to every single aspect of life. So, every Sunday I would get motivated to channel my inner, aspiring chef and I would make grandiose meal plans for the week ahead. However, I quickly learned how big of a failure I was since these plans rarely came to fruition and sadly resulted in wasted food and an accompanying feeling of guilt. I realized that my refrigerator had become a place where dreams go to die. It's kind of a funny statement in and of itself and while I'm proud of the wit behind it, I'm not at all proud of the reality of it.
One of the things I was looking forward to most about this move to Belize was a hopeful reset in this cooking and eating dynamic. There is no GrubHub, UberEats, or whatever your flavor of "desired food at your doorstep in an hour" service is.
Growing up as fortunate as many of us are, you are likely familiar with the parental yelling "Eat your food, there are starving kids in Ethiopia that would love to have that!". I'm not sure about your reaction, but I remember never making the connection..."If I don't eat it, it's not like it's going to be teleported to some kid in Ethiopia (Dumb-ass parents, with accompanying eye roll!)"
However, now having encountered people who are living well below the poverty line and would love to have a full plate of food for every meal, I now totally GET IT! And, Dani gets to learn this through seeing and experiencing this through our life abroad. As such, we try really hard to not let a single morsel of food go to waste.
In our 27 days here, I'm proud of our accomplishments so far. We are learning about the fruits, vegetables, and dishes that are native to Belize. We are learning that we'd rather have a watermelon with seeds than one that is genetically modified for our convenience (seriously!?) or smaller chickens that aren’t given so many hormones that their breasts are definitely bigger than mine!
I have the utmost faith that our Belizean refrigerator will no longer be a place where dreams go to die, they go to THRIVE!!! <3<3<3