Food. Something I am very passionate about! Something I believe brings many people together from many different aspects of life. Something we can not live without, at least I cannot! Food can be shared in so many different ways and bring to life so many cultures, thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories. When I cook I cook to nourish my family, to bring us together, to share a dish I love with those I care for, to experiment, to bring to life memories or recipes passed down through my family and to bring to life culture.
Food can bring the simplest and utmost grateful happiness to life. Simply giving or preparing food for another can bring so much joy and appreciation, more than one might believe. For some, food is not as wildly available or accessible, so what may come off as a small gesture to some, feeding someone can be the greatest gift to another. At times we may take what we are able to have, taste, use, eat for granted… next time you are enjoying a meal just appreciate it, small or large, fancy or not, enjoy it, because someone, somewhere is not as fortunate.
On a lighter note, eating brings people together! Whether it be helping at your local food drive, participating in a food train for that new mom or family who just suffered a loss, having girls night, family dinner night, holiday dinners, birthday dinners and so much more…. One of my favorite things to do is cook for my family and friends. As often as possible, with any excuse possible, we invite family and/or friends to our house. Cooking for everyone truly brings me so much joy and pleasure! From simple menus such as enchiladas, spaghetti, chicken and waffles, to more complex like a dinner of small plates or appetizers, ratatouille, couscous like my grandmother in France makes, lamb roast etc, no matter what I make I take pride in and serve it to those I care for with love. Watching the reaction of that initial bite is nerve wrecking and satisfying at the same time. Hearing compliments or constructive criticism is rewarding. I am my greatest enemy in the kitchen and my toughest critic, so i turn to those i feed for real input and feedback that i can take to heart. Not only is it satisfying to watch them enjoy their meals but knowing we are all together, enjoying our time together, good food, good drinks, lots of laughter and conversation, some heated political talks even warms my heart. There is nothing more important to me than family, so if me cooking all day long, decorating that dining room table, cleaning my house and attempting to dress up is what it takes for us to spend a day or evening together than so be it. I will never forget how fortunate and lucky I am. I have an amazing family and the ability to spoil them with great food!
Cooking can sometimes be stressful and demanding. Preparing dishes for numerous people, preparing a dish you have never tried before, using ingredients you have never even heard of – can stress a soul out a lot! However, it does not always have to be stressful, something so simple of a dish can also be just as rewarding as that big, fancy, first time ever made type of dish! This is where culture, family tradition and memories come into play. Food that you have grown up with whether it be ingredients well-known in your country or culture, food your mommy, grandmother, uncle, brother is known to make, a recipe you have been cooking or baking for years and years, make cooking simple and rewarding. Having those recipes to turn to bring to life good memories are once I cherish and love to prepare. I love reminiscing on the last time we had the dish, who used to make it or still does, the smells, taste, look, preparation all bring to life memories that make my heart melt and my mind smile. Family recipes to me are something that should be kept safe and ongoing. Passing down dishes that are either prepared in your country by many or in your family by one should always be kept close! It makes for great conversation, great memories that will never fade and pure satisfaction.
Being a new mommy had me thinking a lot about food. What dishes will my son love that I make? What types of food will he enjoy eating , what will he not enjoy? What are my go to dishes going to be once he is in school, in sports, when life is just too crazy to prepare those complex dishes every night? My husband and I plan on exposing our little man to many different foods, from all over the world. Being French, we eat a lot of diverse foods, foods that are not necessarily popular here in the States. Escargots, beef kidney, liver, tongue, all types of veggies, birds, sauces, some things a child might stick their nose up to, fold their arms over their chest and yell NO! But in this house, he will be exposed at an early age so he can have an open mind to a broad range of food vs being anti good food just because it sounds weird! I believe exposure is key. When you are exposed to things from early on it makes trying new things easier. When you are used to simple tastes vs anything “complex” you do not build the taste buds or desire to eat things beyond “simple.” Now, I am not speaking for everyone but I will say I have noticed a lot of people who have zero desire, taste or appreciation for anything beyond steak, potatoes and canned green beans ( which FYI I am in NO way saying there is anything wrong with that) because that is all they are used to eating. In order to appreciate a broad range of food you need to try it, expand your taste buds and your mind. This is why we have decided that from early on our little man will be exposed to all types of food from all types of countries and cultures, prepared in all types of ways.
So, in a wrap, food is an amazing thing. It serves many purposes and brings to life so many things. It can bring love, happiness, joy, family, friends, memories, appreciation, respect, honor, admiration and so much more to life. Never forget just how lucky you are to be able to eat, share when you can whether it be food or recipes, pass on tradition, hand down recipes, appreciate what you have and enjoy it all more than anything.
Bon appetit 🙂