Posted tagged ‘families’

Reflections from a Foodie

April 21, 2009

Foodie  n. Slang  A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.

I wouldn’t call me exactly a gourmet.  Absolutely not.  But I have a profound interest in  food.

I live  in a house with someone who could subsist on meat, potatoes and corn…..with a green bean casserole thrown in once in a while. Oh…and an occasional pizza.   The other of the male species is highly suspicious of anything green…and yellow and sometimes red.  His meal of choice usually comes from a box that you  add ground beef to.  He cannot abide the taste of tomato unless it’s in a sauce of some kind.  His sister on the other hand fancies herself to be a vegetarian.  I have no doubt that she will try that life style when she is older but right now, she loves her chicken too much and, on a rare occasion, a grilled steak.  She snacks on carrots and celery and cold sugar peas and can easily go through an entire bag of apples in one day.   She makes an entire meal out of a baked potato and a couple of tomatos.  Set a dish of unfamiliar veggies in front of her and she will most likely give it a try.   She is also a pasta lover.   I guess all of us are.  Take them off the beaten track….away from their ‘norm’ and you are likely to have a mutiny on your hands.  Or lots of grinding in the garbage disposal and many empty cereal boxes.

And their kind of food and  food preparation bores me lately. 

I can’t find anything that tickles my palate and makes me want more.  Unfortunately this malaise has not stopped me from eating.  I just keep trying to find….something. 

I guess I am just tired of the usual.  The casseroles, the meat loaves, sandwiches and soup, salads….everything lacks that ….pizzazz.  Barbecued chicken hit the spot the other night however.  I am looking forward to doing more of that again this summer.  I love grilling vegetables too.  But, more and more, I find myself longing for the food of  the two days I spent in New York City last fall.  Morandi.  Josephines.  Magnolia Bakery.  The quaint little market on the main drag with the very interesting sandwich combinations.  And to the meal my family shared at a ritzy restaurant in our town with a thoughtful gift certificate given to me at the end of the schoool year.  Everything from the salad (argula greens) to the shared dessert (chocolate volcano cake) was beautiful.  I remember holding everyone back as I marveled at the beauty of the presentation.  And then they destroyed it with forks and spoons.  In seconds.  Sigh.  It was something meant to be enjoyed…not inhaled.  But they argued that they HAD enjoyed it.  A lot.

I guess I have always been the kind of person who cares about how food…looks.  I can spend a good long time looking at something before I actually put a fork to it.  I love ‘presentation.’  When I prepare a meal I try to make sure it has a complimentary color palate as well as a taste palate.  I don’t like anything too green….or an over abundance of yellow.  Or white.   That was very clear to me in New York.  I have introduced my family to a lot of things they have never had before since NYC.  I have thrown spices into unexpected places.  I am finding that sometimes it’s best to operate on the ‘what they don’t know, won’t hurt them’  tactic however.  Like tonight. 

I spent the day making pasties.  Northern Michigan Pasties…with a few minor adjustments.  I picked up some things – potatos, rutabaga, carrots and parsnips – at the grocery store, grated them all together and wrapped them in  pastry with lots of smallish chunks of meat.   I have gravy for the guys to drown them in and plenty of veggies to keep the Princess happy.   In case they don’t like it.   We’ll see. 

As for me, the fun was in the making, I guess.  They look darn good.  I hope the taste is there.  The ‘pizazz.’   Its missing in my life right now.


Home From the Holidays

December 30, 2008

There is something sort of surreal about spending a holiday great distances away from home.  In someone else’s home, with someone else’s tree and someone else’s life style.  NICE…but surreal.  For us it was a 13 hour drive to my sister’s home in South Carolina.  It’s been several years since we have done the drive on this particular holiday.  We left Michigan at 3 am with waist deep snow drifts in our yard.  It was cold.  It was blowy.  And then 13 hours later we were enscounced in a motel room taking showers and marveling at the warm weather.  My parents had driven up from their home in Florida.  We ate wonderful meals, attended a wonderful Christmas Eve church service, unwrapped wonderful, thoughtful gifts,  played games, watched movies together, pondered the balmy SC weather, went shopping and headed home again.

It was interesting to make the trip with two teenagers and the dog .  Both kids were plugged into their i-pods or watching movies on the little dvd player.  An impulse $9.95 Cracker Barrel purchase of the entire first season of  ‘The Cosby Show’ was the best investment ever.  It was fun to hear them giggling and outright laughing in the back seat.   On the way home I stuffed their little heads with WWII information as we watched ‘Band of Brothers’ together. 

But the neatest part of the trip?  HRH spent his Christmas gift money on a GPS system.  Now, I am a google map quest person.   Hubby swears by AAA Trip Tix.   I never saw the need for another mapping system.   I thought this would be just another ‘man toy.’  Yet the rationalization of all the soccer fields we have to drive to made the purchase make a teeny bit of sense.    The trip home was actually….boring….since I didn’t need to consult a map for him every five seconds.  I actually read an entire book without being interrupted.  An ENTIRE book!

And our new little computer friend is totally cute.  She has a bit of a British accent, can evolve into a wing flapping bird, a car or a pair of walking feet at will.  She tells you how far to go before making a turn, when to make that turn and if you get off your beaten track for a burger or potty stop, she insistently tells you to “make U turn when possible.”   I almost wanted to make a few stops just to hear her pleasantly implore to get back on track.  We are still trying to figure out a name for her.  Actually ‘Computer’ seems to fit for this family of ‘Trekkers.’ 

Welcome to the family, Computer!  Can’t wait to take you on another trip…..heh.