Food porn

IMAG0199

One of my favourite activities is to flick through recipe books and gawp at the pictures of delicious meals inside, and drooling. Sometimes I make the recipes pictured but usually I just gaze at the photographs and fantasise about eating them. This activity is generally known as food porn. I was thinking about this and wondering if the phrase was unhelpful.

The conclusion I came to was that actually the phrase is very apt and actually quite helpful. Lusting after food porn, like sex porn, is a solitary activity, it is unfruitful, and it is ultimately unsatisfying. It gives you a quick rush of pleasure and makes you feel good in the moment, but it’s never going to fill you up.

You may have noticed that Stuart and I love food. We love to cook food, we love to talk about food and we love to share food with others. Over the last two nights we have had friends over for dinner, yesterday I went out for lunch with a friend and today we are going to have a big lunch at church with our community group. Eating food is a social activity. People chat over food, and can share things that they often would not otherwise. Mealtime is a fantastic time to share stories, as we certainly discovered last night!

Community groups in our church are small(ish) groups of the churchgoers who live in a similar area, and we meet once a week to pray, study the Bible together and to reach out to those in the community around us. We always do this over tea (and often cake), as these are the motor oil of a good meeting, they help things to run smoothly. We also eat a meal together often, and invite other folk who live nearby. People are comfortable to come to this, as gathering for lunch is a family thing to do, and we make many new friends this way.

Jesus recognised this and used food greatly in his ministry. Think about it: water into wine, the feeding of the 5,000(ish), eating at the house of a tax collector, the last supper… so much of Jesus’ ministry took place over meals, because he saw how it brings people together and allows them to open up. Yes, we need food to survive, but God graciously made food both delicious and social. He could have provided us with one simple plant that provided all our nourishment and required no preparation. But He didn’t, he lets us choose our food (in countries where we are blessed enough to have it aplenty), He lets us prepare it, heat it, mix it up, and share it together.

What Jesus came to do is to die on the cross to take our sins upon himself and make us right with God the Father. The night before he did this, he took some wine and some bread and said, “This is my body, given for you. This is my blood, shed for you. Eat and drink in remembrance of me.” So, when we gather as a church family, we gather round the family table and share some bread and some wine together. The bread and the wine are just normal bread and wine (in fact, I suspect the wine is actually Ribena), but when we eat and drink we remember that Jesus has died for us. We break the bread once more and are thankful that he has allowed us to be forgiven.

Food is special, and I believe that the Bible commands us to enjoy it and share it together well – how joyful!

Jewellery

There was much fun in the sun this weekend, too, but with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, I sought some solace inside in the ‘cool’ of our flat. Stuart dedicated himself to tidying the garden and plant some new herbs, and it’s looking rather lovely – hopefully he’ll blog about that shortly, and give you an update on the chillies which are, now, ginormous and fruitful!

IMAG0185

Working on Making Jewellery magazine, I spend half my week staring at gorgeous jewellery designs and projects to make, and am always itching to have a go at making them. I took this weekend as my opportunity and got all my beads and bits out, and spent a good hour just having a rummage. I eventually got some beads and wire etc together that I thought would make a great necklace to go with my summer wardrobe.

IMAG0186

I wrapped these beads in gold-plated wire and strung them up with some amber coloured glass beads to create something utterly shimmering! I also made some earrings and a bracelet, that I may well with you before too long too – with a safety pin borrowed from a friend! Also, if anybody is interested in a tutorial of how to make this, I am considering it! Here’s the result:

IMAG0190

Beach!

We’ve been a bit lax at blogging recently, I think mostly due to the glorious weather! It looked like we poor Brits were never going to have a summer again, and that we would be reduced to shivering with our ice creams under blankets and slapping on suncream underneath our woolly jumpers. Nevertheless, the mighty sun has shown its face and we have been lapping it up! Last weekend we went to the beach!

IMAG0175

As you can see, if only there was sand it could have been mistaken for the Mediterranean. We went to Hove, hoping it would be quieter than Brighton, and it did seem to be. We waddled down from the car, which should have been experiencing 5* spa treatments for the price of leaving it where we did, laden with bags of picnic, books and towels, determined to pack all summer activities into one day in case it didn’t last. We stripped off, and I think were quite possibly the pastiest couple on the beach…

IMAG0178

Stuart maintains that if we were the palest there it is because we’re too sensible to get burned or to orange ourselves up with fake tan. The day was glorious and we determined that we would never again waste money on going abroad for a summer holiday (a notion that quickly faded away on Monday morning, I have to say. Work is work, sunshine or not.) Of course, the question you’re all asking is… did we do it? And I can proudly tell you… YES! We did go swimming in the sea! In all its grey/green, seaweed smelling glory, we went in for the plunge. After the initial I-think-several-of-my-organs-just-stopped-working shock, it was rather pleasant.

IMAG0177

 

Dragon hunting

Some of you may have heard about the dragon hunting trips that Stuart and I have been taking. Legend has it that in St Leonard’s Forest (near Horsham) there was once a dragon that was terrorising the local villages. Good old St Leonard (back when he was plain old Mr Leonard) slayed the dragon, and there are some jolly good stories that have arisen around it.

Stuart and I went on our first dragon hunt back in February, before we were married:

IMAG0010

But this weekend we went back, armed with large sticks and our friend Andy! Of course, we needed a good feast to set us up for our adventure. And what better feast food than chicken with 40 cloves of garlic! With breath to match the dragon’s venomous spit, we were sure to be protected! If you’re wondering what 40 cloves of garlic looks like…

IMAG0137

And for dessert, of course, was dragon pie:

IMAG0170

It turned out to be a gloriously hot day and, though Stuart climbed a good few trees, we saw no sign of the dragon. I suspect he had gone under ground to keep cool, lest he burn down the whole of his habitat with one hayfevery sneeze.

But, dragon, beware, we shall be back!