Friday, November 21, 2014

Recipe Redux: Giving Thanks for Food Memories

This Recipe Redux theme was ridiculously hard for me. Not because I wasn't inspired. Not because food combinations and recipes couldn't come to me. But because how could I choose just one food memory that I am thankful for to write about??

Growing up food was love and I have infinite memories of cooking and eating with my mom, dad, sister and grandparents. Cinnamon rolls (rested overnight of course) for Christmas and Dad's birthday. The most decadent three-layer brthday cake served for every birthday (and even better as breakfast the next day). Deep dish spinach stuffed pizza, crockpot stews, that one time mom snuck tongue into our soup and we thought it was tasty until she spilled the beans. Puffy pancakes, buckwheat pancakes, plain ol' pancakes. Garlic and Parmesan popcorn while watching a classic movie.

Then there was when I first started to be vegetarian around age 13 and discovered the goodness of hummus sandwiches. How amazing brownie mix--heck all food--tastes while on a month-long backpacking trip as a 14 year old. Moving to Thailand and honing my enviable tolerance of spicy food. The best Pad Thai of my life whipped up in 5 minutes flat from a cart on the side of the road. Infinite dishes of Som Tom. a surprise birthday party at hot pot where I felt loved in a place outside my comfort zone.

Then falling out of love with food and using it as a way to control my feeling about my body and it's size. And losing countless memories I can never regain of my life (food included). A time of sugar-free jello, fat-free PB and Ensure, every calorie counted.

The disordered eating and diet food consumption sadly continued into my freshman year of college until one day I got sick of sugar-free, fat-free CoolWhip and went back to eating real food to fuel my newfound (and short lived) crew pastime.

I started to reading more about nutrition, and eating plant-based as I switched from a Neurobiology/Genetics major into the Nutrition program. I wanted to learn how to fuel athletes and help others heal their relationship with food. I discovered Boston's food scene, got tight with Slow Food, local food and good food. I started exploring new cities mouth first, through words/reviews/critiques of close friends and anonymous critics. I began to talk to real clients about food, their relationship with food and their own food memories. I started writing more about food and nutrition and conjuring up nostalgia, while creating my own new food memories. At meals shared by great friends, and great chefs. And I give thanks for them all.

But I don't have many food memories I have created myself. Or should I say exceptional food memories of food I've created myself (I still have nightmares about some vegan baking I've attempted). So I'm taking a professional culinary course to learn/refresh my kitchen skills in an attempt to begin to create and share more food memories that start in MY kitchen. 

Until that happens, I'll share a comforting recipe from someone much wiser (and better at cooking) that I. My Mom's Split Pea Soup. A soup made for cold November and December days. 

What is your favorite food memory?

PS: The winner of my EZ Tofu Press Giveaway is.... Jane Dough. Follow her on instagram for drool-worthy baked goods! 


Serena Ball said...

So many good stories. Love the pics of you as a kid. Tongue in dinner?! Your mom was tricky! I adore split pea soup - had it all the time as a kid...thanks for the reminder!

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