I grew up sharing my food. One bowl of soup, perhaps a fish, one plate of vegies, all in the middle of the table to be shared amongst four hungry kids plus mum and dad. There would be one big pot of soup on the stove and one small bowl in the middle of the table. We’d take it in turns to fill it up as it emptied. We would also always take it in turns to fill each others rice bowl.
No, we weren’t on rations, it was just part of our culture to put all the food in the middle of the table and share it. I think its just as much about the sharing as it is about the actual food.
Many years ago when I had recently returned to Melbourne after living overseas for a few years, my kids then aged 12 and 8, came home after being out with their Porpor (grandma) for the day. They immediately exclaimed that they had in fact been treated to an ice-cream…..each! Yes, somehow I had managed to raise two kids believing that sharing an ice-cream was normal!
These days, I’m pretty sure that they prefer to eat an ice-cream each, but I have no doubt that when it comes to eating a meal together, its definitely over a bowl of shared soup.
My family has grown and we are often 3 generations at the same table. We continue to share our food – a few more plates added to the centre of the table, but always with a wonderful sense of the food bringing us together.
These days, I love opening up the kitchen to share my food in my workshops, or as is more often the case, share my humble dumplings.