I has just as much “God” training living in residential community during seminary as I did in the classroom or through studies or writing essays. And a whole heck more than in a pew. One key philosophical value which I rooted from that season remains that feeling that breaking bread, sharing nourishment, builds productive communities.
The actual physical sharing of food makes people feel good. Research has shown that presenters at board meetings who bring sugar carbohydrate rich snacks are rated as more competent and capable than those that don’t.Now, it could be the actual stuff in the food, or the emotional placebo effect that does the trick. Families that eat together produce children that do better in school, are more happy and chose better friends than those that don’t. The message here is: is you share food together, you are more likely to like each other, and build a sense of “we-ness.”
That is why I like to host little themed potlucks monthly at work. This month?
THE GREAT PUMPKIN! Each day, two staff members bring a pumpkin dish to compete against each other. Staff put 50 Cents in a baggie for a taste, and add in more if they like it. VOTE WITH YOUR TASTEBUDS (Don’t steal this motto, Obama, it’s mine!) The $ goes to our “sunshine fund/holiday party” and at the end of the week, the highest earning dish wins the most coveted prize of all: BRAGGING RIGHTS. We’ve got cheesecake offs, cupcake offs, chili offs…a fun time for the staff involved.
I knew I wanted to do something trail-mixy because I’ve been hiking a lot lately (probably over 100K this month) and was thinking this past weekend roaming fog ridden hills of Ireland: wouldn’t pumpkin trail mix taste yummy? Then I was thinking: kettle pumpkin corn. So I mixed up apple juice, 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and a bag of marshmallows.
Once that melted, I added in fresh, home air popped pop corn (which immediately SHRANK a ton)…and then, next thing I knew, I went a little wild. In went pretzels…then graham crackers….then some craisins and peanuts….and next then I knew, I had PUMPKIN SLOP.
Drizzled with caramel sauce and WHAM: I LIKED it…I liked the devil-may-care feeling of mixing it together to create savory sweet gooey ooey I-can’t-stop-eating-enough-of-it-wiil-there-be-any-left-for-tomorrow rate.
Okay. So maybe I am a little romantic at the “breaking bread” theory. Because eating-standing-over-the-kitchen-sink/stove feels pretty grace like as well.