I spend a lot of time on Foodgawker. Don’t ask me exactly how much, but I can tell you this much: On any given evening, I’m more likely to be on Foodgawker than Facebook.
Technically, Foodgawker is a site that aggregates posts from food bloggers and displays them in one feed, allowing me to
drool browse and look at recipes. But basically it gives me ideas for what to cook and bake, with really great food photography to boot.
That’s funny to admit, because Christianity Today’s women’s blog, Her.meneutics, recently ran a post on America’s food porn problem. The author was writing about a recent Newsweek cover featuring, well, the sexiest asparagus you’ve ever seen, and she says the problem is that it leads us to long for “the next amazing meal, instead of contentment with what we might already have in the fridge.” Interesting.
But then she ends with this:
It’s no accident that Jesus shared a meal with his disciples, telling them to “do this in remembrance” of him. … We eat and drink in remembrance of him, and, as the apostle Paul and the early church reminds us, it’s that eating and drinking that brings Christians together in One Body.
No amount of time on ChowHound makes up for time spent around the table with others. For whether at the Eucharistic table or the picnic table, we are bound to each other in the breaking of bread.
Like I said, color me intrigued. But I didn’t give that particular sentiment much thought until tonight when I considered, with no real remorse, the fact that I spend (possibly) too much (just a little) time looking at food blogs. I do not know if I like the idea of recipes, or the actual act of making something from a recipe, but the point – and problem – is this: I have a collection of bookmarked recipes that is so long I could never possibly make them all.
It’s simple, though. I enjoy collecting recipes. And tonight I realized that I love sharing them, too.
Perhaps sharing links is the Internet-era equivalent of sharing a good book with a friend. When I read a well-written article or relevant blog post, the Internet allows me to share it with others immediately. I think it’s great. Sometimes I share academic things, but more often than not (I am pleased to say) I just link people to memes, gifs (which always make my computer run more slowly), and funny pictures. Countless times I have messaged my friends with a link, saying, “OMG I AM DYING” [still gets me every single time] or, “This. So True.,” or, “Cannot. Stop. Laughing.”
Maybe it’s selfish, but I want them to click the link and share my emotion. I want them to react the same way I did, because that’s the way – for better or worse – I can connect with people.
But maybe it’s not selfish. If I send you something I read or saw online and I recommend that you read it, it’s not because I want to waste your time – at least, that’s not the sole motivation. I send it as a way to say, “I know you, and because I know you, I know you will enjoy this.”
Recipes are very similar. I don’t send recipes to people willy-nilly (not unless I’m really lonely, in which case there are other factors to consider), because I look at a lot of recipes. More than I care to admit, in fact. I save the best ones (it’s a subjective scale, really) to make later, and even then, only a select few get shared.
And I only share recipes with certain people, too. Often, there’s an element of a previously shared experience. Whenever I see a particularly good s’mores bar/cookie recipe, that puppy goes straight to my Apartment 5 roommates, no delay. A recipe for some over-the-top baked chocolate anything? My sister gets it.
And maybe when I share a link to a recipe, I add some funny note, like, “I see your butterbeer cupcakes and I raise you this,” but the implicit message I’m sending is something rather different: “I would like to make this for you and eat it with you.”
I’m saying I want to be with you, and I want to eat with you, and I want to enjoy sharing something real and good – life, not just the food – with you.
I guess I’m really saying, “I love you.”
And I hope all of my favorite links keep you busy and distract you for hours.