There were so many posts I was planning on writing this summer. The new same-sex marriage law in NY, my sister’s wedding, an adventure I had with Louise in NYC, a lovely day spent with my friend Tee, my first food vendor job – I meant to share my thoughts on it all. However, summer life was so laid back and I was having such a wonderful time with my family and friends that it felt somewhat wrong to take time to blog. However, my daughter is going to college in a few days and my husband and I will be left to our own devices again.
Rewind nearly 20 years to life pre-Louise. I don’t remember what it felt like, and I don’t remember what we did. I don’t remember what I cooked or how we spent our evenings or if we had breakfast together. It’s all gone and I find myself in the position of figuring out how to create a life again that is most assuredly mine. I suppose it starts with finding out who I am again. Being so totally and completely absorbed in the process of raising Louise to be an independent adult, my identity has become fuzzy, as though perceiving it through a thick, murky pane of glass.
I decided to start the clarifying process with my favorite thing – food. (No big surprise there) About a year ago, on a trip to Great Barrington, VT, I bought a book called “1001 Foods to Die For”. It’s organized into ten chapters, from appetizers to beverages. There are some recipes in the book, but it mostly contains half page descriptions of foods that the editors at Madison Press thought were the quintessential foods from around the world that everyone MUST taste in their lifetime. Find my own recipes, find a restaurant that serves the foods, or travel to where the foods are made the right way; all are options to be considered.
Many of the foods in this book I have already eaten and enjoyed – from skordalia (from Greece, a garlicky potato mash) to rogan josh (from India, a Kashmiri meat stew – one of my favorite stews EVER). Those I will definitely eat again with an eye toward discovering something new about them. Others, I am really excited to try. Cod cheeks, Frango piri-piri (a chcken dish from Mozambique), haggis, Brazilian feijoada are all foods I would try in a heartbeat. Some dishes, however, I have actually crossed out in the book – steak tartare comes to mind (yuck – raw beef with raw egg? really?), as do raw clams and oysters and carpaccio. It is going to be a stretch for me to eat anything with runny egg yolk, but I will give it the old college try. Maybe I’ll find out that I like them – after all my friend Tony swears by runny yolks and I consider him to be one of the smartest foodies I know.
It’s going to be an adventure. I’m excited about the journey. I hope to find new, exciting foods and learn something about myself in the process. After all, why do I find sashimi so repellant? What makes some foods so abhorrent to me that I don’t consider them a viable food for sustenance? I want to know why. I want to know ME.
An ancient Chinese proverb (attributed to both Lao Tzu and Confucius) says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In my case, the journey of a thousand dishes begins with a single bite.
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