I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe in a divine figure sitting on a cloud passing judgement on the world. I don’t like the idea of an old man sat in opulent surroundings making moral decisions about the poor of the world. And I certainly don’t think that I will go to hell for all eternity just because I think it’s okay for two people to get married just because they happen to share the same chromosomes.
That said however, there are some things that I like about religion, and one of those is the use of ritual to mark the calender year. In our modern, technological age, where you can get anything whenever you want regardless of the time of year, I think that it’s very easy to just miss time passing.
And so, I’m working on bringing a little bit of ritual back into my life. Hey, every tradition has to start sometime, I’m just choosing when to start mine. At present I’m compiling a “wheel of the year” and significant events on it: easter, midsummer eve, halloween, pancake day… and to go with the year, I’m pulling together recipes. These are recipes that aren’t just seasonal, it’s not just about using things that are ready to eat (although, that’s part of it too), but it’s about food that has associations with things, times, places and people. The cake that you always make the first day the sun hits a certain place in the garden, the soup the you make when your first crop of carrots come in, the roast beef that you always prepare when your mum comes round for her birthday… that kind of thing.
So, what kind of recipes mark out particular times of your year?