When I was little, it was a special treat if my mom, instead of pouring my milk into my cereal, instead put it in a small creamer pitcher for me to pour in myself. This happened infrequently. But when it did, I relished it as one might tea with the Queen.
And in most of Haruki Murakami's novels, his main characters often have very meticulous food rituals, taking great care in the preparation of their food. Perhaps this is reflective of Japanese culture in general, but his characters lavish an exquisite amount of attention – while simultaneously exhibiting admirable restraint – on food.
Such ceremony has a place in the food world, but my mealtime & cooking rituals as an adult are woefully lacking. I do make attempts. No eating meals in my bedroom. I try to use nice dinnerware (I love Apilco, personally). I once enforced a strict no-technology-while-eating rule, but that's fallen by the wayside as of late. I'd like to be better about observing proper mealtimes versus snacking all day, and I'm hoping to host more dinners as cooking & eating with others is hands-down one of my favorite things ever. Simple and deeply satisfying. Now, group dinners will entail a fair amount of ceremony – setting the table, arranging courses... and of course, presentation matters.
But when it's just me, I care less about how my food looks – for better or for worse. We do eat with our eyes, after all. But sometimes my meals look like a mess. Like this morning's breakfast of eggs over easy, leftover braised cabbage & carrots, and arugula. It wasn't refined. But it was good.