Pottering around the Lumiere Hearth ,feeling very much at home ,I pick up in bits the details of the painstaking care with which my friends at Lumiere source/grow/process the finest & best for the stores from their often simple unassuming mutual work conversations.
“Food raised and prepared with Love is the real Medicine"
In a single short phrase the answer is perhaps -the Attitude & Approach.
The sheer spirit of belonging ,the constant attentive care it calls for in what is finally not a joint family kitchen but a Production line catering to a chain of three busy Organic stores does awe me.
For eg look at this bit of conversation with our Production head, Sandhya about her Apple Jam recipe : “We ensure that the Apples for the jam are soaked in just the right amount of water overnight to perfect processing the natural pectin so that they can be cooked in the same water without having to drain out a single drop of its goodness ..."
This conservative home style method of preparation reminds me of my own genius homemaker mother’s conservative culinary practices aimed at preserving every last ounce of goodness without wastage .The need for thrift in household budget management without an iota of compromise on quality is also a valid factor.
Also if Sandhya is not around she is pretty sure that Nethra,the new hand ,will attend to it meticulously on her own.The Lumiere Hearth is a place where precept & practise simply cannot be separated and where it braids its way through warm and genuine relationships..
“... Because it is good for you”is all our elders said by way of reason and we ate what they gave us without demur
Why so ?
It was not only because we feared the wallop that insubordination inevitably invites but also simply because our grownups ensured most of the great health stuff we were fed were really divinely tasty.
It is the only thing that really works after all and It is the same approach that works here too .
So the bottomline of all Lumiere Hearth think-tank sessions is unfailingly that of any sensible mother who is constantly innovating ways to get the kids reach out for some wholesome stuff on their own simply because it is irresistibly delicious.
As a writer of Lumiere’s blogs,I researched into many ingredients , many of them, unglamorous stuff rendered common because we see them daily .The life bestowing potential of each of these used in traditional preparations opened my eyes to that meditative viewpoint gained over millennia of experience- of recognising, foraging and then finally growing food and making them edible and truly table worthy.
Embedded as a flavor on the tongue, a scent in the nostrils ,a certain texture in our palms -these inform the live creative explorations into the Life Organic at the Lumiere Hearth.
I think I am catching the aroma of a piping hot batch of fresh wheat bread loaves emerging from the Oven now under Chef Manu’s gimlet eye .
The laptop snap shuts on its own as the feet fly down the steps