Imagine worn wood, smoothed by the passing of bowls filled with colorful vegetables in rich sauces, a table where conversation has been heaped in hearty servings creating life. The importance of breaking bread, not only with what and who we know but reaching out to others and stepping out of our comfort zone is found at The Table. Food has the ability to tell a person’s history, a dish can show people’s love for each other and in its most creative state remind us of God’s brilliance. Food is flavor and memories that fill and feed your soul.
My dad’s side of the family is from Switzerland and part of the family lives in a small ski town named Adelboden. I have grown up visiting my family there, and wish I could travel constantly to see them and experience the history that seeps from everything you see. My grandmother Theresa, who I was named after, is scattered by a river underneath a tree with her initials carved into it. Rolling hills that never lose their radiant green are speckled with cows. My grandmother’s river flows through this, and it dries and refills with spring snow that has melted off the mountain that she lives under.
To start the adventure of finding her tree, you must first go to a beautiful lodge restaurant called the Shermatanne. The meals you can find here are the epitome of traditional Swiss mountain food. Adelboden is filled with cheese, cows, farmers, and skiers who, in the winter months, will end up hurrying down the hill to have a starch filled meal.
One of my favorites is Raclette. This dish is named after the cheese that is melted on top of cooked potatoes. Traditionally, a large cheese wheel is melted over the fire and then scraped onto the plate of potatoes. It is accompanied with cornichons, bratwurst, charcuterie and cold cut meats. You sit around either a crackling fire or a raclette grill and experience the sweeping aroma of cheese entering the air. After your plate has been decorated with pearl shaped potatoes and Raclette cheese, you must add a bit of color and life to your art piece. Paprika, the breath and dimensions to the dish. When I was a baby my parents brought me to Switzerland to be baptized in a cathedral called the Munster. The sprinkle of purifying water renewing and giving me life as an infant is almost what the paprika does to the Raclette cheese and potatoes. It brings life to the dish, saves what is already beautiful and then adds to the story while you eat. It is truly wonderful.
The beauty of religion and food is not a mistake. The creator makes beings who wish to create, and that is the story of life. At this Table we are about to take a seat observing life, food, beauty and how the ideals of religion all intertwine.
Photo Credit: Isabella Jackson