Tag Archives: lentil soup with bacon

This Bowl So Dear

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from Australia’s Michael Leunig

I find the above illustration and poem by Australia’s Michael Leunig surprisingly uplifting.  Plus, the comfort and simplicity of the bowl of homemade soup and a wooden spoon fits right into the whole notion of our blog.

A little googling about bowls vs plates led me to a whole world of sociological and psychological and historical analyses of the subject.  Where was Andy, the Sociologist, when I needed him?  FYI – he was in his office googling football bowl games. 🙂  See today’s Andy’s Corner.

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Well done, Tigers!

Little did I know that Andy, the Sociologist, had already discovered the British food writer Bee Wilson and was immersed in the Kindle edition of her book The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World 

In a piece that Wilson wrote for The Wall Street Journal, she writes, “Our abandonment of plates for bowls suggests that we are reverting to the simpler times of one-pot cookery, liberating ourselves once and for all from fork anxiety. Today, the thing that we are most short of in the kitchen is not necessarily money but time. Sales of bowls have climbed in tandem with the rise of the Instant Pot and the pressure cooker, time-saving gadgets that produce tasty dishes too sloppy for a plate.

But perhaps there is more than just the issue of time at play here.  In an article in the online publication Quartz, Helen Zoe Veit, a Michigan State U professor who focuses on the history of food and nutrition, indicates that snobbery was also at play in our earlier avoidance of one-bowl meals. “How we were eating [in the twentieth century] was reflective of what we were eating, and that tended, in mainstream American culture, to be a slab of protein with a couple sides, salad and bread. “(This) sort of extreme separation of meal components…is seen as a mark of refinement and education and status….Americans for a long time were sort of saying…that mixtures are a little disgusting.”

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A plated place-setting

We’re SO happy that snobbery about bowls and eating mixtures of things is now passé Though Andy and I haven’t entirely given up on a nice plated meal with a side-dish salad – and while we’re still novices when it comes to Buddha bowls and burrito bowls and grain bowls (though we promise more focus on that in blogs to come), we’re in love with soups and stews.

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Too many bowls? Or a necessary abundance of comforting things to cradle?

I think Bee Wilson is really on to something when she says, “The rise of the bowl in our lives suggests that many eaters are in a permanently fragile state, treating every meal as comfort food.  In a world of alarming news, maybe we all need something to cradle.”  Amen.

We’re sure looking for comfort – so tonight I’m making Joyce’s Clam Chowder.  Tomorrow we’re having a bowl of Jook Chicken.  Later in the week it’s Colorado-ish Potato and Green Chile Stew.  Last week we tried out three new soup-y stew-y recipes and are delighted to share them with you today.

This evening we’ll light a fire in our wood stove, turn on our 56th episode of Schitt’s Creek – or maybe the 2nd episode of Cheer, select the perfect bowl from our (crazy large) collection, dish up that bowl of chowder…feel its warmth…take our spoon (wooden or not), and proceed “with steadiness and cheer.” Continue reading

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