Monday, April 7

My love affair with food.

The other day I was talking to a girlfriend about the pictures (a.k.a. food porn) I post on social media. "Your food always looks so amazing. I wish I could make those things." After thinking her for the compliment, I began to pour out the passion I have for all things food. I guess I had known these things about myself for a quite a while but I never really went all out and said it aloud. This one simple moment in time was my AHA. Enlightenment. Here is what I discovered about myself. 

I have always been interested in learning how to make food. I like to know about the history of food. I want to know the traditional ways to prepare food. I am on a quest to master food and make it taste as good as possible. I have a thirst to understand the nutrition of food and the human body.

I have always been interested in learning how to make food. For a few years when I was little, my dad would take me out to dinner every weekend when my mom was at work. The much cherished daddy daughter date. He introduced me to German, Italian, Cuban, and Greek. If anyone is to blame my expensive tastes or need for trying new and exciting foods- it's him. (Thanks Dad.) I was crushed when he told me our dates were at an end when I was 7 or 8. Turns out we had to help out family financially and couldn't spend money on going out for a while. As an only child (at the time), my memory serves this as my first lesson in self sacrifice. It was a sad day. The natural progression once we stopped going out was to start cooking at home. I am sure we cooked on week days before this time; I just don't remember it.  My parents both let me be "hands on" in the kitchen with them from an early age. I got to help them crack an egg, slice the tomato or stir the pot. We made new recipes frequently. There was a time in the early 90's that dad was very into the low fat health craze and working out. He cooked  us spinach linguine, lentil soup and other things that were usual to my friends when they joined us for dinner. These were strange times indeed. Once my sister was born and my mom was staying at home, she became the maker of necessary meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner) and my dad was the creator of fun meals/treats. Even to this day they work really well together in the kitchen. He bakes a cake, she decorates it. 

I like to know about the history of food. I want to know the old-fashioned or traditional ways to prepare food. I think that this started around the time Food Network first aired on cable TV. Shows like Iron Chef America, Paula's Home Cooking, and especially *Good Eats fulfilled and fueled my quest for knowledge of all things food. I couldn't wait to see what the secret ingredient was each week, how Paula makes her grandmas Red Velvet Cake that has been passed down from generation to generation, and to discover the science behind why Alton thinks that a brined bird is best.

I am on a quest to master food and make it taste as good as possible. I may not eat biscuits **frequently but I need to know how to make them. I don't know why. There was a time right after college that I made every baked good until it was admired by all or got the thumbs up from Mr. FFF. (You don't get the nickname "the Cupcake" from co-workers for nothin'.) I do not have a fear of The Apocalypse (or a Zombie attack) but I do feel the need to know how to make something in case...I don't know what? In case I have to  make it without a recipe one day. This is not rational but it is true.

I have a thirst to understand the nutrition of food and the human body. This is a more recent obsession. I think once you realize that you are nearing your thirties, you are not as invincible as you once thought, you see loved ones get sick or worse passing on. It strikes you that maybe you should start to really take care of your body. (Now that I think of it maybe this was the same reason for dad's health craze of the 90's- I guess the apple doesn't fall too far.) I have been on a quest to lose weight or get toned for years but now I want to make sure that I don't just look good on the outside. I want to reprogram my genes for myself and for future generations. I want to be the best me; to stay healthy for as long as possible. I want to avoid cancer which runs in the family, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and whatever other diseases lurk around the corner. All of these reasons and more is why I have gradually switched to a REAL FOOD life. I don't want to be S.A.D. I want to live a long healthy happy and fun life. Over the last year, I have read alot of about nutrition and I am on a quest for more. Weekly, Mr. FFF says "don't you already know everything you need to know about [book i am reading at the time]."

So that's a little about me. What about you? Do you think that we are more food aware than past generations? I really feel like having a whole network dedicated to food has shaped a greater percentage of our generation into foodies. Or was Julia Child alone enough inspire those of past generations with foodie tendencies?  Doubters need to check out this awesome video below.


"Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun." - Julia Child


* Good Eats is still my all time favorite food show. A.B. is so awesome. He currently has a podcast, the Browncast that airs weekly. I haven't missed an episode of that either!

**I miss eating you wonderful biscuits... oh the memories. 

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