Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Why write about food?

Why write about food? Apart from the fact that I consume copious amounts everyday and truly love to create something from the raw ingredients I can find without a car in this city, I choose to write about food because it connects me. It has been there ever since I remember; from my mother’s homemade birthday cakes to her Slimming World menu plans. It connects me to my family and to new friends who also get excited about that brand new cookie recipe.

In my mother’s cookbook collection there are already those recipes, like the wonderful Cooked Turkey Curry, which I have transcribed and stolen to make myself here in the States. Other recipes have been promised to me when the time comes for them to be passed on. Until then, my grandfather’s Pâté, written in his familiar handwriting, waits patiently on a shelf in the UK for me to claim it. I am part of an elite clan who make Red Wine Punch this particular way for Christmas parties, part of a tribe who are also reheating a homemade Christmas Pudding on New Year’s Day.

In food, there is the potential to show love; look what I made, for you. There is satisfaction on so many levels. I am able to produce something which creates or retrieves memories from smell, or sight, or taste. If I make my husband cheese and potato pie, the sight of bubbling, blistered cheese lets him know that I have thought about him. It reminds him of all the times he has eaten this dish, lovingly cooked by his mother back home. If I make myself a mushroom risotto, the bloated grains comfort me whilst telling me that I am worth such a luxurious treat. They remind me of a dear friend who serves nothing else to supper guests and who will take over the stirring if you dare to make ‘her dish’ in your own kitchen.

Why write about food? I'm hoping that sharing my dishes and my memories should force me to stop baking, cooking and eating long enough to appreciate the last meal and become excited about the next.

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