When the words, “The Key To Happiness Is To See Beauty in Everything (Even Ugly Things),” popped up on my Twitter account from one of my favourite writers, Ryan Holiday, I liked it, I shared it and then I liked my retweet and replied, before sending it to friends and liking my share. Because they are words we all know, and yet, in the constant up and down journey of life, we sometimes forget them, forget to look for the beauty in all things.
The everyday things become mundane. Sometimes the idea of cooking another meal or setting another table can seem like a mountain compared to the molehill of slipping into bed early. That’s a bit of a lie, setting tables is a not-so-secret and unconditional delight of mine and I’d set one even if no one was home and there was no food in the house. But you understand…
More and more, I’ve realised that the daily doesn’t need to be mundane at all. It can be one of the greatest joys of those 24 hours. We love our shared daily dinners around the table but we’ve spiced things up by adding our other great love to the mix. Travel!
Travel is the practice of seeing the world, of learning about life, people, earth… and food! Something so linked to culture and history, and an answer to bringing people together. It’s the ultimate way for children to learn. Gastro-geography marries travel and food by letting us experience a country through their cuisine. For the last few weeks, we’ve travelled to different corners of the globe, cooking a meal from a different country each night. Together, we go through our atlas to pin point the country, then we research it and its interesting facts and then we prepare a meal from that land – a delicious destination dinner!
For Thailand, terrific Thailand, we ate Thai green curry and steamed Rice. French night included cassoulet, la baguette (what Renzi calls French bread… he be fancy like that!), and a dessert of creme caramel and French nougat with French Earl Grey Tea – with “No je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf and Les Miserables playing in the background. Carlos regaled us with Fun French Facts and Renzi donned a French moustache as part of his dressing for dinner. St Paddy’s Day shenanigans took us to Ireland with my two chocolate, moustached leprechauns sipping their Guinness cake-in-a-cup. We’ve visited Mexico, with fajitas and corn on the cob; Italy, with all the pasta in the house; Iran, with veggies and Persian love spice made by hand-grinding rose petals for three hours; and (Don’t Mess with) Texas, with chicken fried steak and cream gravy – the declared winner of this week!
We have learnt more about this colourful and exciting world than any textbook could teach us – we’ve learnt to feel the countries, we’ve embodied their unique ways. We have bonded, we have laughed ourselves off our chairs, we have thrown tantrums, we have turned into great orators and we have shared. As on any journey. And it’s allowed me to share my own working-travelling Mum tales with my favourite people, to let them feel as though they were there with me – until the day they get to see the countries for themselves.
Let’s just hope they don’t take their moustaches with them when that day comes.
Follow our Instagram for more tales and photographs of our gastro-journey!