Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Think About Food

I think about food…a lot.  Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in a family that tended gardens, most dishes were made from scratch, and many loved ones simply enjoyed cooking.

When I was younger I had an Easy Bake Oven and usually I ate the batter before it was ever cooked.  Homemade ice cream was a constant at Aunt Opal’s gatherings.  What a delight it was to feel real cream sticking to the roof of my mouth.  Mom made pot roast every Sunday with carrots and potatoes and then I covered it all with her delicious gravy.  Grandpa Hughes’ flaky pie crusts filled with Aunt Opal’s fresh cherries or apples were always anticipated. Fresh eggs gathered that morning from Grandma Scott’s hens then cooked over-easy made my morning.  On many mid summer days I was armed with a salt shaker in one hand and warm tomato in the other.  I would sit on our front steps and enjoy every bite.

Present day I have my hutch covered with cookbooks already open and ready to assist me with a peach and blueberry pie. There are stacks of onions and garlic curing on my kitchen table and my mind is considering how I can use every portion of the plant in some future dish.  When I visit any grocery store, specialty or otherwise, (almost daily) I forget all there is in the world as I roam aisle after aisle considering what I can create with all these options combined with what I have on hand at home.  I have folders and boxes of recipes.   I have an ongoing project of organizing them.  Some are already in my computer and so many more need to be added.

My thoughts also linger today over the way chefs describe food.  A chef friend described a step in one of our Feast meals, “sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil until it sings.”    A book I’m reading “My Berlin Kitchen, A Love Story with Recipes” by Luisa Weiss calls recipes family heirlooms.   Both statements are clever and make me happy. 

At the end of the day, after I’ve decided on a menu, gathered the ingredients, constructed everything and bathed in its aroma, I eat with gusto.  While cleaning up the kitchen I start thinking about that next meal.  You may be thinking that I am obsessed with food.  However, I would prefer to categorize it as simply one of my many passions.  Bon Appétit (I wish you a hearty appetite). 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Where Am I?

Maybe it's because of the recent death of my father-in-law that I ask this question.  Before that I was basking in a beautiful Spring.  I've been gabbing to the flowers and vegetables and pampering them as they power through their life cycle.  For weeks I've been grilling tender asparagus to place on our dinner plates.  I also have been watching a growing belly with a new grand baby inside.  The other day I talked to her.

I've been sharing the leadership in my Soul Sistas "Love Revolution" Bible Study.  There have been great discussions in our Sunday School class with new Bible books being re-discovered.  I have a big faith community that makes me smile and think.  All of this has certainly helped my faith grow.  

And then there have been thoughts about God's gift of family and friends.  I have an awesome mother and father.  I had a great childhood with incredible memories.  I have siblings, children, a grandchild, friends, neighbors, customers, pets and strangers to keep me entertained and occupied.  I can't imagine any day in this life without these connections and our interaction.

It's a complicated life and it's an adventure.  I am saddened by the loss of my father-in-law.  I won't again hear him laugh or sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve.  However, I know he's in Heaven and surrounded by love and loved ones.  As for me, I too am in God's hands.  I too am surrounded by loved ones, laughter and beautiful voices.  And I am in a happy place.