Memories of food create my world kaleidoscope.
The other day while scrolling through Facebook I had the realization of how lucky I am to be able to stay connected to so many people from my childhood. Looking at each person, a second level of thought was occurring. I realized with each friend, I had an associated food memory. Memories started spilling out of my head. My friend Bev and I used to make this amazing pasta salad which we would eat sitting at Shafsbury lake in Vermont on hot summer days. I still love me a good pasta salad with Italian dressing. One of my last babysitters before I was finally considered old enough to stay home alone, Dee, introduced and taught me how to make grits. Salty, buttery grits. Best served with a runny fried egg on top. I celebrated moving into my first apartment with my friend Nia by trying avocado and caviar. The first dinner my husband cooked for me while we dated, was Chile relleno with fresh New Mexico hatch chile. That dish will always be remembered. Spiccccy.
When I eat, that first experience is still woven into my perception of those foods. When I create food for other people I want them to have that same enjoyable experience that creates a memory.
One of the more saturated situations that takes away from the importance of food memory is that we are forgetting to feed our soul with the food we are eating.
As a country over 200 billion dollars is spent annually on fast food. That’s absurd to me. We can drive though fast food chains thinking that it saves money, time, and dishes but are we really saving anything? I think we are losing touch. We lose that family time spent in the kitchen, appreciating ingredients, a connection with your food source. Truly gaining an understanding for life.
All of these memories changed my relationship with food. Everyone I’ve met has given me a piece of them through cooking, which is maybe why George Bernard Shaw said “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”.
I want to encourage everyone in todays busy world to sit down at the table together, disconnect from technology and connect with each other. Let the bonding begin even by encouraging your children to cook with you. Look around, research your local wild foods and instead of investing in large fast food chains, invest in yourself. Learn a new recipe, try a new veggie, bust most of all make memories.