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).