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I’m a real foodie who loves her ‘slow food’ as fast as possible. I shovel food like a backhoe gulps dirt, and even wrote a book about making real food as fast as possible so you can get on with life.

But in my hurry, I think I’ve missed something.

#NotesFromABlueBike Blog Tour: Food with @TrinaHolden

In Tsh’s book, Notes from a Blue Bike, she writes of approaching our food from a different angle. She talks of embracing the effort of sourcing whole foods as a rewarding challenge,  appreciating the process of preparing it, and slowing down enough to enjoy the results. In reading her words, I realized I’d forgotten what a gift the need for nourishment is.

Multiple times a day we are given the opportunity to serve, to sit, to connect with those around us, and to nourish our souls as well as our bodies. Meals should be more than just  a chance to refuel, like a pit stop on the Indie 500. Instead, coming to the table should be like a refreshing detour that excites every one of our senses and touches our very soul.

Is this even possible in our hurried lives? Breakfast is usually a bit of an emergency around here, everyone starving after a long night. School must start after breakfast, naps are urgent by lunch, there’s clean up and baths after dinner and the laundry ever calls from just one room over. How can I slow down enough to glean all the goodness to be found in the art of eating?

“Slow food means living an unhurried life, beginning at the table.”
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Slowing Down Our Food: 3 Tips for Savoring Mealtimes by @TrinaHolden at @KindredGrace #NotesFromABlueBike

Inspired by Tsh’s ideals, I started to keep an eye out for ways to enjoy the ride more, and here’s what I found:

3 Tips for Savoring Mealtimes

1. Clean as You Go

I love cooking fast, and am a bit of a whirlwind in the kitchen. But the past few months I’ve been retraining myself to clean as I cook. Putting away ingredients, soaking that pot as soon as I’m done with it, filling the dishwasher as I go. It takes longer, but means that by the time I sit down, the only dirty dishes are the plates we’re eating on , which can be slipped into the dishwasher when we finish. This brings an atmosphere of rest to my dining, allowing me to relax and savor the meal, instead of it being just a breather before the next lap in the race.

2. Put the Phone Down

This is a no-brainer, right? But I’ve slipped into this bad habit again lately, so I’m reminding you and me to put aside our news feeds for the real food. To expend the energy to connect with the person across the table from us. To ask questions that get to the heart, to show my kids, my husband, my guests that I care and want to love them well. Let’s let food fuel us for fellowship.

3. Light a Candle

The easiest one of my action points, but sometimes has the most impact. Lighting a candle piques my children’s curiosity, inspiring us to conversation. The candle’s flicker gives me something to watch rather than the notifications on my phone. Candles remind me of celebrations which in turn, reminds me of how much I have to celebrate.

if one has not dined well... #NotesFromABlueBike

Let’s not miss the nourishment mealtimes can provide for our souls. No matter what is on the menu tonight, let’s slow down and enjoy it.

How do you help your mealtimes be relaxed and refreshing? What do you do at dinner besides just eating? What’s your favorite meal to prepare when you have plenty of time and want to enjoy the process? Leave a comment and then use the entry form below for a chance to win your own copy of Notes from a Blue Bike.

Notes from a Blue Bike

#NotesFromABlueBike Blog Tour: Come pedal along with us at @KindredGracePedal along with us…

Disclosure: Members of the Kindred Grace Team were provided with review copies of Notes from a Blue Bike in exchange for an honest review. Giveaway copy (available to winner with US mailing address only) provided by Tsh Oxenreider and Nelson Books. Links are affiliate links and your purchase of Notes from a Blue Bike through these links will help support Kindred Grace, at no cost to you!

12 Comments

  1. That’s a great idea to light a candle. I’ve started doing that at our breakfast table, and I love the mood it sets.

  2. Does this mean that I should not save all my dishes from the entire day to do while the children are bathing? 😉 I think I tend to do better at working in “batches”, whether it’s writing or dishes. 🙂 But when I do make an effort to clean up while dinner is in the oven, it’s rewarding to sit down after dinner rather than stand at the sink!

    1. Hey, whatever works for you! I have to admit, that my latest routine is based on having a dishwasher…in my last house, I tended toward doing them all at once at the end of the day, too.

  3. Oh, I liked this post! Your three tips are the things I do when I am on purpose making the moment sacred and inviting God into this part of my life and revealing the gift of time and food. A candle makes ALL the difference. My kitchen work space is so small, I have always cleaned as I go. My favorite way to cook is to make a one meal menu, go shop for those items and come home and cook just that meal. I can’t figure out why except that its some old world European blood running through me veins and I must go to market and get today’s food. Lately, my meal planning has been neglected. We’ve been eating, but I’ve missed the whole blessing of the production and feasting. This was good for me to read.

    1. Shannon, I adore the idea that preparing a meal from market to table is a traditional, European thing. Next time I find myself having to run to Wal-Mart in order to cook supper, I shall try to embrace that mindset. 😉

  4. I don’t do too well with cleaning as I go. I certainly have to make a concerted effort for that one.
    So many people and families are so busy that they miss out on this simple way to connect with one another.

    1. Absolutely, Jess. We miss it, though it’s right in front of us. The perfect time to be in each other’s faces and to cultivate closeness.

  5. I have to work on cleaning up my kitchen as I go…I have never had a love for washing dishes 🙂
    My kids are under the age of 7 and in this season of life we enjoy listening to Adventures in Odyssey while we have family dinner.

    1. Amber, that’s a great idea! I need to remember to turn the radio on, because AofO airs right at dinner time on our station. Thanks for that!

  6. This is exactly how I have been feeling as of late! So much rush that we miss so much of what is around us right at our fingertips! Life does not have to be stressful, but we can easily make it that way. Breakfast at our house has always been grabbing basically a snack whenever you feel like eating in the morning. I recently stayed with a friend for two nights and loved watching her family rise early to enjoy breakfast and Bible study together every morning. While it seems inconvenient, what a better way to start the day than like that!? Was very convicting for me.

    1. Mmmm, you’re so right…it can seem inconvenient to go to the trouble of a sit down meal 3 times a day, but there is such soul food in the act of sharing a meal.

  7. As you said at the start of your post, “in my hurry I think I’ve missed something” This is a phrase I could apply to so many aspects of my days, but it’s true, meals are a great time to encourage connection along with nourishment. I have finally gotten into the habit of having candles on the table for all meals now, and it does help slow things down and encourage us all to linger at the table a bit longer.

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