Welcome to Humble Feast!

Humble Feast column at Neighborbee- culled from my own joy-filled hours spent cooking, baking, canning, gardening and experimenting (just about 7-days-a-week, in the brief hours after work and with stolen moments between an over-full social calendar, volunteer work and millions of projects). I’d like to post twice a month with simple, affordable and healthy recipes, time-saving tips, local resources on the Upper West & Upper East Sides and ways of thinking about food that work well, every day, with limited time. I’d also like to invite you to participate (that is, after all, the whole point!?); to share your own recipes, make requests and help shape the direction of this column. And in doing so to explore what food means to you, to discover your likes and dislikes and to take steps towards actively creating a healthier relationship with food for yourself. Because we, each of us, are a tender and supremely worthy part of a larger, collectively more powerful whole; and the well-being of one hinges entirely on the well-being all.

As my father used to say before every meal “Mangia, mangia!”, to which I add “And well, and well!

humble-feast-1It seems like everyone I encounter in NY tries to cram as much in to every single day as possible. We’re always hurrying; to catch up, to catch the train, to make the meeting, land a new contact or close the next deal. And that energy is part of what I love about this place. But it’s also (ironic/unfortunate/fitting/bumbling/silly) to me that one of the first things to suffer is the one thing that we really, really need to be effective. And that’d be healthy eating habits. We get more done in one hour than much of the world does in a day, or a week, or a month. And we do it on a laughably small amount of fuel. I harbor no illusions that we, as New Yorkers, will ever change our ways. It’s who we are, what we do, how we roll.

So the answer seems to be this- We need food, and good food, which will keep pace with us. Because fast food and junk food

may give us the (apparent) energy we need to get through the day, but what we gain in the short term is certainly paid for in the long run, in the quality and duration of our lives. All of this may or may not seem so important right-this-very-moment, but the effects of inattentive eating habits will become oh-so-very-clear down the road a few years… And you know what? I think that when we slow down enough to really listen? If we’re not feeding ourselves well, we don’t even need to wait for a fuzzy, farmers-markethypothetical future to feel the effects. I, for one, feel it immediately; in not-enough energy, in lack of focus and poor sleep, in grumpiness and just-a-little-less patience, in feeling too hungry or sometimes even too full, but not in the right way. The irony lies in this; in the city where we’re always “on”- always wheeling and dealing- the last possible thing any of us can afford is to be more blurry, tired or frazzled than we already are. So I’d like to share a project with you, one that’s very close to my heart, in hopes that you can find some time in your busy lives to read a paragraph or three and maybe even try your hand at taking better care of yourself through your stomachs!

I look forward to sharing with you and in the meantime, I’d love for you to give one of our member’s recipes a try!  Please email me anytime at [email protected] 

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