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When I was a little girl meal times were associated with immense stress and at times, depending on what was on the menu, I would be so anxious I would be close to tears. I was phenomenally picky and disliked almost everything, and the thought of eating the food put in front of me regularly left me feeling physically sick. I can still remember the feeling of absolute dread as I sat down, faced with yet another plateful, each bite expanding, growing in my mouth as I chewed and chewed and chewed, unable to swallow... it was torture, on a daily basis.
Of course my not eating caused my mother no end of stress and she tried pretty much every trick in the proverbial book, from letting me eat only what I liked, to forcing me to remain at the table until I had cleared my plate (this approach did not last long since I then ended up sitting at the table in front of a plate of stone cold food until well past my bed time).
I know that my problems had nothing to do with my mother being a bad cook, in fact she cooks very well, and food now plays a huge role in the enjoyment of visiting my parents. My taste buds must have simply been severely under-developed, and I only really started enjoying food when I was in my 20s. And when it happened it was like flicking a switch. Suddenly almost everything (apart from runny egg yolks, which I still don't like) tasted delicious. Food and everything to do with it became synonymous with pleasure.
I'm currently on holiday in Istanbul, visiting my partner's parents, and it's interesting to notice how the familiar feeling of stress sometimes rears its ugly head during meal times. Don't get me wrong, the Turkish cuisine is absolutely delicious, everything is so fresh and so full of flavour, and apart from a peculiar dessert made from chicken breast, it doesn't contain anything scary. It's just that they show their love and care through cooking, and they want you to eat and eat and eat. Turning down seconds and thirds becomes an offence, and I feel almost panicky as I struggle with the mountains of food placed in front of me.
And so as we prepare to go to the country house for a big Sunday feast today I kind of regret putting myself on a diet these past few weeks. Had I not done that, my stomach would have been in better shape to accommodate the copious quantities I know will greet me this afternoon. What if I explode? I'll let you know how it goes, if I survive...
On a different note, Meredith of Poppy Fields really surprised me the other day by passing on the Thinking Blogger award. Thank you so much Meredith, I'm really chuffed! I love visiting your blog, you paint beautiful pictures with your words, and I especially love your descriptions of the smells and tastes of Provence.
Now the idea is for me to pass on the award to five other bloggers who regularly make me think, not an easy task, since the very reason I read the bloggers I do is because I find their writing stimulating and thought-provoking.
But here are five of my favourites, in no particular order:
If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
Optional: Display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.