I made a simple, fresh spaghetti for dinner last night. Though my calendar tells me autumn has come, my faithful garden soldiers on and so I had tomatoes and basil in abundance, tomatoes and basil that cried out for me to use them well. And so I did.
I went outside and gathered everything that was ripe, filled my bowl with red and gold and green, and half an hour later, all that goodness was simmering in a pot on my stove. The scent of garlic, mingled with ripe tomatoes and hints of sweet basil, drifted through the rooms in our home, set all of our stomachs to growling.
Paired with a loaf of crusty bread from a local bakery and a bit of parmesan cheese, we had ourselves a feast. A simple feast, but a feast nonetheless.
Fancy meals – those with a long list of exotic ingredients, those that require special planning and timing, those that demand work, and lots of it – have their place. I’ve eaten such meals, and appreciated them, and remembered them. They are good every now and then.
But as I grow in my confidence in the kitchen, I’m learning that the simple meals can be just as good. They can be just as good, even better than those fancy meals, as long as you’re working with the right ingredients.
A glug of olive oil. A few cloves of garlic. A bowl of garden-ripe tomatoes. A handful of basil. Salt. Pepper.
Nothing flashy. Nothing complicated. No profusion of elements, of unneeded ingredients. Just the basics, served with love.
And as I strive toward contentment in this season of toddlerhood, of being home, I’m wondering if life isn’t the same way. I wonder if I don’t often try to add too much, to make it too fancy, when all that is needed is the simple, the basic, the good.
Faith. Family. Friends. Purpose. Joy.
Just the basics, served with love.