-Gado Gado recipe by Mollie Katzen
On Monday this week I made Gado Gado, an Indonesian dish that I discovered years ago through the Moosewood Cookbook. The dish is immensely satisfying: a bed of fresh spinach, then a bed of brown rice, topped with vegetables, spicy peanut sauce, and sliced fruit. Garnishes include coconut, ginger, garlic, wedges of lime, and diced onion. It’s a feast for the eyes and the body. It’s a great centerpiece for dinner parties. In this case, it was the culmination of my Sabbath day and a way to treat myself well. This recipe will feed me and my partner for two days, but the satisfaction is spiritual as well as culinary.
I have moved away from two healthy habits that I had at earlier times in my life: home-cooked meals and vegetarian eating. Convenience foods take less time and planning than hand-prepared recipes; and I have always liked eating meat. Slowing down to spend an hour preparing a multifaceted meal, however, brings a sense of calm and purpose that a quick meal does not; and vegetarian cooking is good for me and for the planet.
My message in last Sunday’s worship service revolved around the advice of the Unitarian Universalist office at the United Nations: their policy focus this year is about food equity and sustainability, and how our food systems affect the environment. One of the clear take-away messages is that eating less meat is good for the planet. Rich countries consume a lot of meat and much of it is produced in poor countries. Meat production has harmful side effects on the climate. I have only a limited ability to change government policy toward subsidizing sustainable agriculture–but I have great control over my own diet.
God of all the nations, God of farmers and plants and livestock, God of kitchens and dining rooms, hear my prayer.
May we all find community in preparing and eating healthy food with our loved ones. May we see that our food choices—who grew it, how far it traveled to our table, what chemicals went into its production—connect us for better and for worse with the network of farms, farmers, producers and distributers.
May we be mindful in our eating, celebrating this connection to life and to one another.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
October 27, 2021