Early in February I wrote a whole post called Keeping the Ferial. The focus of the post was on day-to-day eating. I have a couple of polls up on the right hand side of the blog that ask people about what their general eating habits are both when they eat at home and when they eat alone.
I addressed two particular issues in the post. The first was the way in which a lack of time hampered our efforts to keep the ferial. We find it difficult to set aside chunks of time that will allow us to do large batches of cooking that we are able to then pull out and use on other occasions, either as leftovers, or as meals made from reserved parts of the larger meal we are making.
So, one of the questions I hope to address in this class, is the question of time. What benefits are to be found in preparing food at home as opposed to pre-packaged food or eating out? Are there ways in which we can slow down our schedules so that we can make time for preparing our own food? In households where both adults work, do changes need to be made to the division of labour as far as how food gets prepared? What place do children have in preparing family meals?
Following on the ideas surrounding food justice that were discussed in the previous class, ferial eating would be a good place to look at questions of portion sizes, and types of foods that we consume. One of the things I think a class on ferial eating should cover is simplicity in eating. Should we, for example, be focusing on one meal of the day with the intent of making it the meal where we eat our most basic meal, with our smallest portions?
The second issue I raised, and one that is of more personal interest to me, was what are the effects of being single on keeping the ferial? Large segments of our population live on their own, and large segments of our population also eat on their own. I find, that while churches tend to be good at having special events that involve eating together, little thought is given to those in the church who eat alone on a nightly basis.
Part of this relates back to the time question. How do we fit time for others in our busy schedules. Which should also force us to ask the question, if we don’t have time for others, what can we get rid of, so that we can make time? Another factor is the desire and tendency to want to use having company over for dinner as the opportunity to impress, and so the workload becomes greater because everything must be just so.
Along with this there are the dynamics of couples and singles relationships. Some of this though, I think, can be resolved by using the old dinner party rule of making sure there is one female for every male guest. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to throw a dinner party every time you wish to have people over for dinner.
Dinner table dynamics are often difficult to deal with when it comes to arranging meals together, but we need to look for creative ways to overcome them, rather than allowing them to stop us from eating together.
Again, I welcome any comments. You can comment in the comment section below or send me a tweet @anglibubs.