Slow Food in the organised sense began as recently as 1986 with protests on the Spanish steps in Rome against the opening of a golden arched eating establishment. (The protest wasn’t successful in stopping the above mentioned establishment from opening, it’s still there, but it was successful in grouping people together to promote good, clean and fair food.)
Slow eating and the enjoyment of the fruits of toil of the soil and surf has been around for much much longer. Why else do we have family recipes passed down from generation to generation, vines that are transported to the new worlds to continue on legacies, treasured kitchen moments of watching grandparents, siblings, or parents make cakes, pasta, sausages or wine or ginger beer. Nightmares of the first time seeing a chicken running about after the chop. Laughter of the grapes being squished between toes, surprise at the dropped pumpkin splitting open, concentrated eyes and hands moving in time with the pounding and turning of rice to makes cakes, the knowing of when a dough is kneaded enough, or the right consistency of a sauce, how to lay a table outside so that the whole extended family can come and sit with ease and comfort. The sharing of family stories about the time when the duck chased you up the lawn or when you swung from the tree swing without holding on and fell in the pond to the amusement of your family.
Slow could be leisurely but it’s not. Slow means putting in the work to make it all possible at a later date, planting the seeds, weeding, watering, watching, looking at the sky, looking at the fields, harvesting, bottling, preserving, cooking, freezing, sharing the excess, sharing meals, recording the endevours. Planning the next harvest, planning the next livestock, planning the next meal. Slow is not leisure. Slow is chosen. Slow is a way of life. Slow is beautiful moments with lots of hard work.
Slow is movement that is not fast, movement to a different beat. Slow music has its place amongst fast upbeat music, it all has its place. Whether you chose to listen to it, well that is personal choice. Music, food, life, it is what you make it. Enjoy it and go slow for a while.
It’s nice to be gently reminded sometimes to enjoy the simple things in life. Simple and slow is a far cry from dull. Cheers and enjoy your meal!
Don’t want to go slow? How about taking a breather? Take time out. When was the last time you looked up at the sky? Really looked at the sky. Wiggling your bare toes in the grass lying down looking up at the sky. See the clouds go by, try making out their shapes and looking for so long without blinking that you see spots in your eyes. Or just close your eyes and look at the sun, and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Enjoy. Breathe. Feel thankful for a perfect moment. Night time? Look at the stars or the moon. Look for the rabbit or the man. Cloudy night skies? Well, ummm. Make it a date for tomorrow. Just the two of you, the sun and you, or if you prefer the moon and you.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover mentions the origins of Slow Food and this inspired me.