Sidey’s weekend theme happened to be FOOD and serendipity / coincidence striking again [how does that happen] I had a DVD out from the Block Island Free Library. There is no TV in the condo here and american TV is so confusing anyway I just get DVD or watch stuff on the computer. So what had I got?
Babette’s Feast if you ever saw this movie you will know most of it is not about food at all, and it is instead about a small sect of seriously religious people in Denmark especially two sisters who give up all sorts of pleasures (like possible suitors) in favour of looking smug and self satisfied. But, they do employ a French woman called Babette who slogs along cooking basic soaked fish, soaked porridge and stuff like that (which one supposes is late 19th century Danish, not unlike basic late 19th century anywhere) for many years until one day she gets a letter saying she has won the lottery. And she offers to create a dinner, on the occasion of the religious group’s celebration of their founder’s birthday. Hence, Babette’s Feast.
It appears that Babette’s previous life was chef in a posh Parisian restaurant. She recreates her most famous (and expensive) dishes. Turtle soup, quail in pastry nests, etc etc. The point is she is an artist, creating from love and soul and all life changing transformative things we all dream of. So the religious group are at least for a while, transformed by the glory of the FOOD.
It is in fact a very interesting film, and, as I expect Sidey meant when she gave us this challenge, names some of what we all want to believe. Food is not just for bodies, it is for souls, minds, and takes us somewhere beyond. (See Tinman’s take on the theme, for far beyond)
Or, is it? What is food?
I cannot forget my years of experience as a working mother with three sons and not much extra money, no lottery win, believe me food was labour, not of love just of practicality, and creativity did not come into it – much. Food was for bodies.
This post is a ramble. One of those sons has just made a meal – fresh caught striper, grilled with sweet peppers on the barbecue, and salad. Who cares if it was for body or soul, both are satisfied.
Babette, eat your heart out, simple and good is wonderful. So is love, however it comes.