Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Life in Food

I read a beautiful article recently written by a woman who was accounting her life in food experiences. I had of course heard the phrase “You are what you eat,” but I had never really put much thought into my life being a number of food-related experiences which shaped who I am and who I am becoming. So below is a partial list of the foods that I associate with certain people and experiences of my life. Please note the people listed have been singled out because they are particularly food-related in my mind. I love all my friends (and readers)!!!

My brother: Teddy Graham sandwiches (I tried to play an April Fools Day trick on him by replacing the frosting of some of the cookie sandwiches with tooth paste but he called my bluff and said “You eat one.” Knowing that if I didn’t, I’d blow my cover, I thrust my hand in the bag, hoping to grab an unadulterated one. Of course it wasn’t. He still wouldn’t eat one...), Clown ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins (with a gumball for a nose and frosting for hair) after trips to the zoo, hot chocolate with marshmallows after building forts in the thick Wisconsin snow, Raspberry pie (when he was smelling his pie, my mom pushed his face in just a little, and a raspberry stuck on his cute little nose. So adorable and hilarious and perfect.)

My father: Famous Amos cookies he keeps in his office, Chuckles (he’d always share), Wisconsin brats on the grill, helping him make Pina Coladas (and he’d let me have a little sip...don’t tell Mom), boiled hot dogs in a piece of whole wheat bread (when my mom was not home and he had to feed us kids), apple pie (his favorite), my lunch at the 95th in Chicago when he took me out of school for a special father-daughter day....I still remember they molded the butter. I thought it was the fanciest place in the world. I had filet mignon.

My mother: Rosemary Chicken, Potato Chip Chicken, Chicken Chop Suey, Chicken Noodle Soup (it’s no wonder I think of chicken as comfort food), Vegetable sandwiches from the Groundskeeper Cafe, French Dip, Bacon-wrapped anything, Fruit paired with savory (you’ll notice a lot of these types of recipes in this blog. I love this combo--her influence for sure). I smile when I read this list--she has that affect on people.

My husband: Pesto pasta, fried calamari (our first date), sushi sushi sushi (he’s a little obsessed), taco night gluttony, Emeril’s Birthday lasagna, rum milkshakes by the pool in Hawaii, Il Cantinori date nights in New York, Piccolo date nights in L.A., Cuban Corn and Huevos Rancheros every weekend in New York, Hefeweizen and giant pretzels on the beach, Father’s Office regrets (yet we keep going back....BEST burger in LA...), Farmer’s Market omelets, Valentine’s Day disasters (one year, the grill caught on fire...the next he cooked the scallops and lamb to near-eraser toughness. I still liked it cause he made it.)

College: Pita Pocket, Patti’s salty beef cubes over instant rice, Easy Mac, Lauren’s guacamole, Brownies, Phish Food, endless turkey sandwiches at the food halls, hungover waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, hungover greasy deli breakfasts (Bagel Diner), hungover toast, being too hungover to eat....

Johanna: Rice and beans, Rose wine, pork of any kinds, steak taco nights, lots and lots of salads (we are the ladies who lunch...and occasionally drink)

Emily: apples with cheese, sausage strata with cheese, more cheese, wine, some more cheese (everyone should have this friend...well, pretty much everyone is friends with this girl, actually.)

My Grandma: Saltines with Butter. Black olives (I’d put one on each finger...)

Mona: Golumpki, boiled carrots, mixed nuts, Asti Spumante

Dziadzia: Swiss steak (his specialty), carrot cake

I could go on and on....but I won’t....this is probably only interesting to me. :)

But as I look over the list, it’s so funny what things stick out in my mind. I mean, boiled carrots from my Grandma (Mona)? But I won’t judge it. I love her boiled carrots. They remind me of Thanksgiving dinners and her orange apron and ‘wild goose hunts’ the other kids and I would make up for each other while the adults did boring stuff.

I hope that some of my readers have food memories of me. I would love to know what they are!

This reminds me how important it is to try to make an event of each meal instead of eating over the sink or a Power bar in the car. Sometimes when I think of the number of meals I have left in my life, I get depressed! I’ll NEVER get to eat all the things I want to eat! Don’t worry--I won’t let you down, readers. I will eat and eat and eat. And eat. And work out. Then eat some more.