THE POWER OF FOOD LIES IN COMMUNITY
Photos by Derek Bedwell
After a year of confusion, tragedy, and extreme scenarios, the simplest pleasures are there to remind us of just how good life is. It’s so easy in our world to have food delivered, as to not distract from the current binge-worthy television series, but the art of food is one that not only brings us all together, it is also a staple of a healthy lifestyle.
I remember being fascinated years ago with the idea of the blue zones. The blue zones are areas of the world with high concentrations of people who live to be over 100 years of age. I watched author Dan Buettner discuss his book The Blue Zone Solutions on an episode of Oprah more than a decade ago, and I still refer to it in my mind on a regular basis. The point of Buettner’s study was not to portray a mysterious community who had discovered a secret potion, but to showcase the life giving art of simplicity. All of these zones around the world had just a few things in common that they did together, and that added years to their life. They had deep faith, lived in community with one another, and ate locally and from their own gardens. The parts of the episode that stood out to me the most were the meals together. Foods straight from the backyard were served fresh, the table setting was relaxed, and if someone showed up unexpectedly a chair was pulled up for them. It stuck with me as a child, and I knew how I wanted my future home to feel.
While it isn’t always easy, and delivery apps make takeout an “oh so easy” solution, the effects of gathering together over a meal far outweigh the sometimes heavy task of cooking after a long day. Studies have proven that family meals together not only increase self esteem and development, they also lower the risk of chronic illness and substance abuse. If the science isn’t enough, the enjoyment always will be. Gathering together gives you a reason to catch up on your day with your loved ones, and to listen without the distractions of devices.
Recently I listened to a podcast where a young doctor referred to visiting the Blue Zone of Ikaria, Greece. While he visited with a local couple who were past the age of 100, they let him in on the secret that dinner isn’t so much about what you eat, but who you eat with. The simple wisdom in these pockets of the world inspired the Supper Club for this issue. Our Harvest issue has always been focused around food. We love to celebrate the food of the South and the top-shelf food scenes threaded throughout the Southeast. In 2020, we want to share some of our simple recipes for your table, and while the recipes are fantastic, we hope that they are far outshined by the people that you eat them with.
Roast herb Chicken
4-5 pound whole chicken
1/3 cup unsalted butter (after 2020 you deserve it)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary + 2 sprigs for stuffing
2 finely chopped garlic cloves + 2 halved cloves for stuffing
- Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F
- Clean the chicken, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels
- In a mixing bowl combine softened butter, olive oil and lemon juice, stir well to make a paste
- Add chopped rosemary and garlic, stir into paste
- Season chicken well with salt and pepper
- With clean hands, rub the mixture liberally all over chicken, covering skin and underneath skin as well
- Stuff the remaining lemon, herb sprigs and halved garlic into chicken
- Tie legs together with kitchen string
Place Chicken Breast side up into a greased roasting pan, (We love to put root veggies at the bottom for more color). Roast for 1 hour + 15-20 min until juices run clear when pierced. Spoon juices from pan onto chicken. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil, let rest for 10-15 min before serving.