At Uni this semester I've been teaching a course on Romantic literature. Think Blake, Keats, Wordsworth and Shelley. I'm loving it - especially Blake! One of the (many) cool things about the Romantics is their fascination and yearning for what they refer to as The Sublime. Basically, for the Romantics, the sublime is like the pinnacle of human experience - emotional, sensual, intellectual, spiritual. It's often to be found in nature, and it's sometimes so overwhelming it's actually kinda scary - but that's OK. It's what we should strive to be open to, and it's what they hoped to convey in their poetry, though almost by definition, The Sublime is actually beyond the measure and description of mere language. Cool eh?
Now while I'm pretty sure that no Romantics ever thought of food being sublime, the other night when I was eating my dinner, I actually felt a sense of joy and contentment that was beyond words and hence, for me, sublime.
|Disproportionate serving of green veg for the cancer patient. Fish at top left.|
The meal goes like this:
Our beautiful and outrageously lovely pal Brett caught some Frigate Mackerel at Bermi. Knowing that I'm in the market for as much healthy food as I can lay my kisser on, he called and invited himself for dinner, bringing along his 3 beautiful fish. He taught Oscar and I how to clean and fillet them, and they were ready for a light fry in the pan!
As he wheeled the kids round and round in the wheelbarrow, amid some pretty out of control gleeful squealing, Pearl and I prepared the following to accompany the delicious fish: Some local Dutch Cream potatoes, steamed and dressed with local olive oil and herbs from our garden; a 'caponata' (kind of) involving tomatoes, beans and capsicums from Thea, zucchini out of our garden, and olives from Towamba Station; and a massive fricassee of homegrown garlic, kale and silverbeet, picked not 2 minutes before it hit the pan.
100% community food meals rock my world!!!
As we sat and devoured the deliciousness in the fading light, I felt positively overwhelmed by the love and nutrition and good health and nature and strength and honesty of the meal and the company and the setting. Is it crazy that food should be so profound??? Maybe, but I don't really care, because it makes us happy and it feeds our bodies and souls, and that, in my book, counts for a heck of a lot more than whether something makes 'sense'. I believe the Romantics would concur.