I have become aware our ability to play the ‘privilege’ card and make choices that aren’t available to our neighbours. In something as basic as food, we can go to the city and buy gnocchi, pesto and other tastes of home that aren’t available in our supermarket here. Our food budget allows for luxuries like chocolate and fruit tea. In an effort to clearly see this privilege, we set ourselves the challenge to only buy food from the township in June, and to live off the average household food budget here (around R200 per week, £11.14). My first step was to buy mielie-meal aka pap. Our African mum helped me cook it on Sunday, and we shared a meal of pap and beef stew with her and the boys (the meat was our big spend of the month). I’m realising more and more that food is one of my love languages, it’s so good to share grub and life around the table, whatever the cost of the meal!
‘Food is a language of care, the thing we do when traditional language fails us, when we don’t know what to say, when there are no words to say. And food is what we offer in celebration – at weddings, at anniversaries, at happy events of every kind. It’s the thing that connects us, that bears our traditions, our sense of home and family, our deepest memories, and, on a practical level, our ability to live and breathe each day. Food matters.’
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table – Shauna Niequist