By SILVANA VUKADIN-HOITT
As a global nomad repatriated to the US, I find myself missing my global life — especially the role and status of food.
I’m amazed at the American compulsion to compact a variety of social interchanges into multitasking events, especially when centered around communion and food. Often the quantity of things is more important than the quality of life. I sense a lack of appreciation for the ritual when I see car drivers furiously slurp from gallon-size coffee cups.
What is the fun of eating by yourself?
In other parts of the world like Italy, a certain lassitude with regard to time allows people to get in an extra cup of coffee with a friend or a quiet meal with a parent. I rarely have this experience here unless I create it myself.
I recharge by cooking and eating the cuisines of my childhood and adult travels: Bosnian cookies, Austrian cabbage rolls, Thai rice, Italian sauces.
I love to invite friends and share the love! Give me a riotous family dinner where everyone is talking and eating, any day. The decorum of setting a table, making food, sharing stories with friends — is life. If, like me, you live in an area without a big ethnic population, the availability of products can be scarce but I’ve overcome this with creative cooking. I consider the ritual of sharing a way to engage in relaxation, good parenting, entertainment and sport without it becoming a mechanical chore.
Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt is an activist currently developing the sustainable food movement in Colorado. The entrepreneur and aspiring writer grew up a TCK and is most at home where diverse cultures intersect at a well laid out table.