Often in life we find ourselves in situations which we did not foresee nor prefer. We fight against it. We object to it. At some point, we may even loathe it. Nevertheless, I’m a firm believer that every cloud has a silver lining, and in the last 28 days, I’ve found several.
Recently choosing to become Vegan for personal and health reasons, I felt at a loss of where to begin with making my newly reformed meals. I savor cuisine far too much to sacrifice taste for health. So I began to go on an epic journey of creating (or recreating) things that I love through exploration, experimenting and discovery. It has been among the greatest quests of my life.
Documenting my journey on my social media through FaceBook (@Carla Turner Brown) and Instagram (@carlamichellebrown), I find myself sharing photos several times daily. I lie in bed dreaming of what to make next, immerse myself in photographs and food documentaries, dialogue with fellow vegans and non-vegans (whom I hope to intrigue with my novice dishes) and can’t wait to find the newest vegan recipes that I can put a spin on.
It was during this recent epiphany that I began to treasure my coerced quarantining. I was reminded of something that I’ve known unconsciously since my childhood – I love…good food. Not merely because of its tastes. Not just because it’s a necessity of life. I love food because it is a complex and comprehensive medium through which souls, bodies and spirits are interconnected.
Cuisine sings of culture and resonates with richness, irrespective of where persons live or their socioeconomic status. It is interwoven with terrain and science, history and politics, math and mayhem, literature, loyalty, family, focus, poverty, pain, mystery and magic – and so much more!
For me – food is love that transfers from heart to plate to palate to heart.
I’ve garnered more feedback and phenomenal experiences in my fledgling attempts at transforming my meals than I could have ever imagined, as I considered my efforts to be small in nature. I dream in cuisine, thinking about dishes that summon memories of matriarchs, heritage, legends and legacies. It pleasurably consumes me – and connects me to people in a way that social distancing could never contend.
Had I not been in isolation, I would never have had the foggiest idea to consider my new adventure. I’m thankful for such contemplation now. I’ve long been a “foodie,” but this thoughtful and immensive time to reflect has placed me on a path that fills my soul much more than an empty cavern in my stomach.
As one of my high school teachers, Shirley Rose, told us every day when asked how she was doing, I’m now feeling, “Just peachy,” about my latest passion. Cuisine that makes me dream – in new colors. Bon appetit.
Here are 11 more dishes I’ve added to my new repertoire rounding out my Top 12 favorites so far.
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Follow Me on FaceBook at @Carla Turner Brown, @Carla M. Brown – Speaker & Author and on Instagram @carlamichellebrown