Over the weekend I have made oxtail soup. I’ve never made anything quite like this before: roasting the bones, simmering them slowly for a full day, straining the stock, adding soaked barley then simmering again, shredding the flakes of meat from flower-shaped bones, gone so soft that they crumble under my fingers, falling apart having given up all their nourishment into the soup we are about to eat.
Ten years ago I could not have understood how this could have been good for me. Today I don’t understand how I could ever have believed it would not be good for me.
This is not glamorous food; it’s not fancy; it’s not politically correct. It represents yet another turning point in the complicated relationship I’ve had with food throughout my life. For me this path is about true, deep, transformative nourishment: literally from the bones of this animal, this ox, into my bones.
I am grateful for this gift; I’m grateful for the animal that has given its life for mine, for the privileges that allow me to receive the gift and make use of it, for the people who have inspired me to do so, for the capacity to change my thinking and to continually learn better, to work on healing and connecting.
For those of you also interested in exploring the path of traditional foods, I highly recommend the website Nourished Kitchen and the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.