Bonding With People Over Food

"The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives.  It is there that we give ourselves to one another.  When we say, 'Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don't be shy, enjoy it,' we say a lot more than words express.  We invite our friends to become part of our lives.  We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us.  We desire communion.  Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communication with one another."    - Henri Nouwan, Bread For The Journey

I have had a life-long love affair with food - one that only now, after years of trying to build a healthy relationship with food, am I beginning to understand.

It makes sense to me now when I look back to my family of origin; and realize that the bonding I was most comfortable with took place over food.

I grew up in a large family where my mother and father expressed their love for us by seeing that there were good home-cooked meals every day.

Three times a day, like clockwork, my family came together peacably; joyfully losing ourselves in the sheer delight of tasty food.  It is that feeling of community that I keep trying to re-create.

There is a bonding that takes place when people share a meal together - their spirits seem to connect.  In my opinion, this makes it all the more important that the food we serve each other be good, tasty food that will nourish us - body and soul.


buddingrose4u buddingrose4u
61-65, F
12 Responses Mar 23, 2009

I remember my family, my aunts, uncles and cousins getting together at Grandma's on the weekends. There was always a group there on the weekends enjoying food, games and stories. I'm sad that those days are no more. My family and I live far from any of the rest of relations.

I hear you. It is the same in my world. At least we have the memories.

Amen to that. There is something so vitally important to the sharing of food. It is almost a tribal ritual - not, it IS a tribal ritual! I love huge family dinners and special feast times, but the everyday sharing of food is comforting, intimate, and allows us to really communicate in so many ways more than verbal! Thanks for this post.

I too grew up in a large family unfortunately our table was always bare of food. My father was a drunken alcholic. My dear mother did her best to cook a feast from scraps of food. Sorry to say I was not as lucky as you but I do not regret my life when I was younger as it made me appreciate things more.Although my dear mother has now passed away I will always love her with all of my heart. Maybe this is the reason I make sure my fridges are always full of food for my children and I cook them nice meals.

Very interesting and true story.

Yes, these occasions around the table provide a sense of security that stays with us no matter how old we get.

There's nothing like shared food to break down any existing barriers and promote trust.

Yes, the bonding that takes place over food never ceases to amaze me. It just seems to reach a deeper level.

Thank you all. One of my favorite things to do is share food and genuine conversation.<br />
Twenty years after we worked with each other 6 of us used to get together 4 times a year. We'd tell the same silly stories, laugh til we cried, shared grief and was wonderful and only stopped after 4 moved out of town.<br />
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Thanks for reminding me.

Thank you, Tessa. It appears that you are wise beyond your years.

Fantastic. I couldn't agree more. I am still very young of course but only in maybe the last two years have I truly come to appreciate and love my family due to our daily food gatherings. Despite our annual vacation, without our lunches and dinners together we would have succumbed to the TV dinner rituals today. I thank you for your recognition, what a great point you have made.

Thank you.

Good communication is a valuble asset. I couldn't have said it better myself.