September 9, 2014
For The Love and Beauty of Food
For a while now I have been wondering where my blogging mojo has gone. I have noticed a lot of blogs suffering from this. Because my blog is more personal, and a diary of things and thoughts that I want to remember, I don't have the pressure that some blogs have with advertising etc. Matter of fact I really don't even know how many actually read my blog anymore hahah. No matter, I'm still here and trying to figure out what I want to focus on and share on here. For a while now cobwebs have been growing on all my cooking skills and knowledge about food until recently. After finally settling in to this house, I feel like I have a better rhythm in spending more time in the kitchen and cooking more with "economy and grace." The above book is a great read if you love and respect food. I'm still making my way through it, but so far what I have read has stayed with me, and when I go food shopping I remember the philosophy behind it. Join my journey as I dust the cobwebs off and share some of the ideas I come up with.
First I should give you some background on my journey with cooking and food itself. I was a child of the 60's. Where some of the convenience foods started to make their way on to the shelves, and kids started eating things like Ding Dongs and hostess cup cakes and various other junk food. Because my mom is Latin American, and loved to cook, we did not get to eat these things. I use to think I was missing out as at kid, but my mom would always say, "Look at those kids filling themselves up with soda and hot dogs," the are going to get fat and sick. This really made an impact on me as a kid and since we never got to eat junk food, I never really felt like I missed out. In fact when I would eat hot lunches at school, back when they actually cooked the food, I use to trade the dessert for every one's spinach! I was that weird kid, who would eat ANY vegetable in front of me! So my tray was always heaped with spinach to the disgust of my classmates. Now granted, this was canned spinach which I'm sure was overly salted, but I still think it was better than eating the dessert.
I kind of grew up at the foot of my mom in the kitchen as well. I got the love of cooking from her. She didn't let me cook things, because she didn't have the patients to let a kid make a mess in the kitchen and waste her time, so I watched and learned. The other thing I learned from her was how to actually shop for food. Since we didn't eat junk food, she shopped like you should shop in a grocery store. Which is the perimeter. I LOVED going to the grocery store with her, and I tagged along well into my teens. I remember her always saying that if children saw how beautiful the vegetables and fruits looked in the store, they would eat more of them. She was right on target there I think. As humans we eat with our eyes first.
Because I feel like I had a good foundation with eating healthfully as a kid, and I knew where food came from, ( we also had chickens, and gardens ) I continued my love and respect of food into my adult life. In college, even though I had no money, I still cooked my food and went to the Co-op as much as possible. The Co-op is like Whole Foods. Many people inspired me along the way with food and cooking, one of them was my college roommate. She too grew up much like I did, and was happy to have found a kindred foodie spirit when I moved in with her. Her family lived in a coastal community near some agriculture areas and they would bring flats of fresh artichokes and other delightful things when they visited. She shared a lot of it with me, bless her heart. When we had parties in our apartment, they were not typical college parties! Since we both loved to cook, we had more civilized dinner parties that centered around good food! Then I met my husband. Probably on our second date I knew he was a keeper, when he cooked me a dinner from soup to dessert out of one of Julia Childs cookbooks! I was impressed, and knew we would have many fun food and cooking adventures! I'll go into those later.
I don't want to make this post too long...but I will just say that there will be more food posts on here with tips and ideas that I have learned.
I hope that anyone who stumbles upon here and needs some inspiration, I can be that person that gets them inspired to "cook with economy and grace." I'm just a home cook and not a professional, but I do know that my friends and family like my cooking and baking. In my next post I'll share how I turned one chicken into four dinners.
Ask me anything, I love to give information and cooking tips that I've learned along the way.
I also want people to not think that I'm a food snob and look down on those that eat the occasional junk food item. We all have, its the people that make it their whole diet that scares me. I won't brow beat you if you go to Mac Donald's on the rare occasion, heck Julia Child even ate there once in a while!