Have you noticed that no matter how simply cooked, our meals are usually consumed in much less time than the preparation, except when you are so stuffed that you feel like a speckled pup with a pink tummy tight as a drum. That's when it is best to stretch out and savor the meal more slowly. Feast more with the eyes which are bigger than the stomach. Summer's favorite meal is fried okra, garden fresh sliced tomato, red potato salad, and a little barbequed meat du jour...or more simply, an almond, chicken, celery, and grape salad moistened with a touch of sour cream flavored with a hint of curry...even easier, sliced polenta grilled in a cast iron skillet, flipped and covered with diced green chilies and melted grated cheddar cheese served with home-made guacamole and chips with perhaps a bowl of beans on the side...or fresh green beans with bacon, corn on the cob, or spoon bread is utterly satisfying. Summer meals are the best with gifts from the garden.
In the book "24/6," the author Matthew Sleeth, M.D. says, "Americans spend less than eighty minutes per day eating meals...We're getting fat. Nearly 35% of our population has a body mass index over 30 (considered obese). In contrast, the French spend more than two hours a day eating, and only 10% of them have a BMI over 30. In 1972 Americans spent $3 billion a year on fast-food; today that number is over $110 billion. By eating fast food, we get calories into our bodies fast, but by taking the time to cook and dine, we nourish our souls...Taking time to sit down and eat is sacred biblical business."