I went to a delicious macrobiotic thanksgiving feast yesterday. The table was as tastefully arranged as the food to the palate. There were little decorative ceramic flower place setting with the name of each person carefully inserted in each one. There was a menu on the table showing what was going to be served. “Arame tarts, pumpkin soup, rice and pecans, seitan or chickpea stew, garlicky greens, sweet potato and beets, cranberry relish and apple crisp.” The cranberry sauce was superb and gave it a thanksgiving feel.
I enjoy this kind of food even if I don’t always stick to it. I ate slowly and with relish, enjoying the relaxed ambiance of mellow jazz music in the background.
I noticed that for the most part what everyone there had in common was macrobiotic eating. One person told me he had begun this 20 years ago after having cancer. Others felt it was just a healthy way to eat that boosts the immune system and is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Since my cousin was the one who held this in her house I mentioned the culinary and gracious hosting abilities that she inherited from my aunt Frances and the fond memories of going to visit her with my kids. I had an interesting conversation with a man who teaches physics in university about his love of the subject and how the beauty of quantum mechanics is that in it we hit the limit of human understanding. “No one understands it and no one will understand it,” he said. Unless of course you’re a scientist who thinks he’s god, I added.
It was a meaningful thanksgiving to me. It was an acknowledgment of all that we have to be thankful for, including the awareness of foods that boost the immune system and promote health and life. And since optimal health is about much more than just the food we eat, I felt my cousin was also creating something very special as far as community goes. Eating is always part of celebrating. Too often people are not able to eat with everyone else at a gathering, whether it’s because of dietary laws of health needs or philosophy of life. Here we were eating together and the macrobiotic among us didn’t need to bring their little sandwich bag of food while everyone else was chewing on their steaks. We could enjoy the food and the togetherness surrounding it.