Monastic? Foodie?

‘It is not food that is evil but gluttony, not the begetting of children but unchastity, not material things but avarice, not esteem but self-esteem. This being so, it is only the misuse of things that is evil, and such misuse occurs when the intellect fails to cultivate its natural powers.’

St. Maximos the Confessor

Now, the term “foodie’ does not typically call to mind any sense of virtue. As someone who blogs at Filii Passionis (a blog devoted to the telling of the formation of a traditional Passionist house) and at Tridentini.com (highlighting the work of a small group of university students striving to return Tradition to as many basilicas and churches in the Eternal City), it would seem atypical for me to write a food blog, nonetheless relating monasticism with the concept of ‘foodie’ which seems to lack any form of asceticism.

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Being a young millennial, I have enjoyed the sharing of ideas on social media, pictures, comments, recipes…And having the opportunity to travel abroad, I’ve seen many methods of experiencing different cultures, of which I have possibly employed many. There’s the frugal type, the decadent type, the wasteful type, the boring type, the habitual type…

What has been most rewarding, has been the opportunities to learn from a culture, especially in the cultivation of its food, the preparation of the same, and the enjoyment which bears forth love and friendship at the kitchen table.

There is certainly the temptation to simply consume for the sake of consumption or to consume unchecked. But there is also a lack of virtue in not even concerning oneself with the boiling of water, to cook a bag of already-made pasta…I mean, come on.

My interest first piqued concerning food simply watching my mother chop and dice, throw into the oven or on the stovetop, and serve us. It’s not as though she was a culinary genius, but I came to appreciate the work that goes into preparing food, especially for those whom you love.

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Its been many years of making mistakes in the kitchen and occasionally finding just the most wonderful combinations of flavors. At the moment, I pretty much linger in the spectrum of Italian foods, I live in Rome – so I mustn’t try to do something the Romans don’t do – non si fa. Trust me, I’ve learned that much…

I hope you will enjoy the posts herein. I won’t be able to commit to much – a man’s got to pray and study. But I love to cook. And I’ll be sharing that here. Recipes, methods, flavor combinations. And in the cultivation of food, let there be virtue, and the soul will be cultivated unto all things pure and holy and chaste.

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