Friday, November 03, 2006

Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

My sister and her girlfriend are joining a commune. I didn't think those even existed, but apparently they do. In northern California (imagine). It's a green commune. They build environmentally friendly homes - straw bale, wattle-and-daub and straw-clay - and share communal cooking spaces and bathrooms.

That'd be where I drew the line. I want my own bathroom. It's hard enough sharing with the total slobs people I live with now - the hair in the drain (bleeeeeeurgh), the wet washcloths, screwed up into knots, the toothpaste left open and spilling all over the counter. I don't even want to think about what kind of mental case I'd be if I had to put up with 20 other people sharing my bathroom.

What would really send me around the bend, though, is not having my own kitchen. I love to cook and I want to cook what I want, when I want it. Not at the whim of 20 other people. Of course, my sister and I have very different ideas of what constitutes a good meal. She's fine with a container of yoghurt and a granola bar. I think a meal should be a meal, with two or three foods on the plate. She rarely eats meat and I love it. She doesn't eat potatoes or rice or breads too often. She eats a lot of fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils.

She doesn't seem to get much enjoyment out of food. For instance, for the next month, she and her girlfriend are doing this fast thing - no caffeine (gah!), no alcohol (double gah!), no refined sugars, no flour, no meat products, no fats except olive oil and whatever occurs naturally in the foods they are eating. Going by what she was telling me, it won't be much. And they're going to do this for a MONTH. I'd be knocking over the 7-11 for Ring Dings and Slush Puppies after half a day on a diet like that.

For me, food is a sensual pleasure. I love the smells of fresh vegetables and fruits, the aromas of stews or pies as they're cooking, the tang of a lemon, the subtle scent of a cucumber. I love to feel the heft of an apple in my hand or to run my fingers over the smooth skin of an eggplant. I love to watch a loaf of bread as it rises and browns in the oven, to see eggs and oil as they do their magic and become mayonnaise. There's something very satisfying about knowing that I can take these diverse ingredients and make a meal that will please the palate and the stomach.

My sister doesn't feel that way. To her, food is just fuel, something to keep her going as she goes about her day being a crunchy hippie granola girl, fighting hard for her beliefs and ideals. My sister goes out and tries to slay dragons. I stay home and stoke the fires.


OhTheJoys said...

I could never live communally. I have too much PMS, I'm controlling and a total beyotch. At least I'm "in touch" with myself. Heh.

LJ said...

as they say, to each their own

i like your way of thinking. i'm that way too. now if only i had someone other than myself to cook for. i hate cooking for one.

*27 left!

Anonymous said...

And there's a place for both types of people. Though I share your view of food. However, food is a little too friendly with my ass and I would like to think of it more as sustenance than pleasure.

Andrea (

Sarah said...

HAHAHA, i love the comment before me, food is a little too friendly with my ass. Her ass must know my ass.

I eat a little like your sister, but I LOVE food and I enjoy natural flavors and tastes (something other than sugar and salt)

Add to that some compulsive addictive eating habits where sugary and salty foods are concerned, I'm better off staying away and sticking to fruits, veggies and beans.

Bea said...

That last paragraph says it all: what a concise way to sum up two very different types of personalities.

Badger said...

I'm with you, on the food AND the bathroom.

Washington Crunchy Mama said...

I admire the way your sister eats! I wish I could be like that, however I would be such a bitch someone would have to shoot me :) I really really like my black coffee and dark chocolate!

Joke said...

It's safe to say your sister and I are the EXACT polar opposites to the extent that if she changed even slightly, shed get closer to me.


Chicky Chicky Baby said...

After your sensual description of all that food I am so turned on. Or maybe I'm just hungry. I think I could really use a slice of that fresh baked bread.