December 6, 2023
January 3, 2024

Although I don’t profess to be a great cook, I do love listening to BBC Radio 4’s Chef’s Kitchen on a Saturday morning.

The programme uses audience participation to ask cookery related questions to a panel of expert chefs and food critics. This particular programme began with a question related to a folk story we all know and love – Goldilocks and The Three Bears – specifically to the porridge on offer. The panel was asked “How do you know when something is perfect?”

This is an interesting question, as perfection can mean different things to different people. The case study in point, porridge, might need to be thick and creamy for one person to enjoy but have a runnier and more watery texture for someone else.

The answers given were also varied. One panellist intimated that perfection came with experience. The more hours you put in, the easier it is to know when something is ‘just so’. I can certainly understand this. Practice makes perfect – right?

Another panellist introduced us to the concept of Nodogoshi. It’s a Japanese term relating to the positive feeling you get when something slips down your throat. To illustrate he gave the example of a perfectly chilled beer, with just the right amount of fizz exploding on the tongue, and the very pleasant aftertaste it leaves once swallowed. A negative example, for him at least, was popcorn. It feels rough in the mouth and is tasteless once chewed. .

His answer got me thinking about how we often use feelings to describe the food we eat and how, we know immediately, what we are referring to. Take comfort food, for instance. Warm, hearty, nourishing, probably stews, casseroles and the aforementioned porridge perhaps. Certainly not salad or anything crisp or raw.

As someone who is a ‘feelings’ person, what I eat is more often than not driven by how I feel at that moment. What type of texture do I crave? What type of taste – sweet, salty, sour? And it’s something I relate back to my clothing choices. How I want to feel is at the helm of every outfit I wear.

Take my Christmas outfit (photo). I wanted to feel sparkly, hence the sequinned skirt. I don’t really do sexy but the skirt has a side split – which adds enough for me. I also want to feel cosy and nurtured, hence the thick polo neck sweater. The chunky boots add my ‘fashion’ take, which is also really important to me. I may officially become a ‘senior citizen’ in a few months time, but embracing modernity is still well within my remit.

This takes me onto our next Coffee and Conversation. As with last January, our theme for discussion will be “How do you want to FEEL?” I’m posting early because it took me 2 months to find my word for 2023. Once I did find it, it truly shaped my decisions and my personal world became a very happy place in which to reside.

The date for your diary is Wednesday January 10th at 5pm UK, 12 noon ET. You will need to register first using the link below. A zoom link will then be sent to your email.

As always, we do not record the event so you need to be ‘live’.

These conversations have become a much loved monthly event. The people who attend are willing to share their thoughts and listen to others. It’s a true community spirit. So bring your coffee or cocktail and join in the fun.

We hope you can be with us.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful (or whatever word you decide to choose) 2024.

Love Sue, Ellen, Clarisse, Kerry and Geraldine.

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