Food, glorious food…

I love food. There, I said it. I-LOVE-FOOD. With me, it’s not just something that I get to do a few times per day because that is what the clock says that I am supposed to do. I genuinely love food! I do the ‘SMH’ thing whenever I hear somebody say that they really don’t like food, or even really care what they eat. WHAT?!? I don’t get it. Do these people (men) who say this think that it makes them sound tough, like they could eat what a Billy goat eats and not care? And for women, is it a body image thing, where if you say that you don’t like food perhaps it will lead to a smaller derriere? I don’t know…
It seems to me that the reason that a person has a full complement of taste buds is so that they can enjoy the extensive flavor palate that God provides on this earth every day. I really look forward to the different tastes and cuisines that are offered from all over the world. And, you no longer need to be a world traveler to try any (or most) of it. The culinary scene in the United States is so diverse now, that if you want to try most cuisines, a passport is not required, although in some places, you still need to bring plenty of cash…
The Food Network has been a blessing for foodies like me. I still do not like most competition shows, although Iron Chef America is one of my favorite shows. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri, is almost on the level of ‘must-see’ programming for me. It is amazing to me all of the different offerings that exist here in this great country of ours. Who would have thought it? It seems that if you can dream it, you can find it. It just takes a little detective work, and ‘Triple D’ takes a lot of the mystery out of it. This show just never gets old for me, and it has inspired me to take a few chances in my own kitchen as well…
I was raised around food…good food. My mother, who can be compared to Tanta Kringle, was and is one of the best ‘home cooks’ that has ever lived (IMHO). Some mom’s (and dad’s too) looked at mealtime for the family as something to be thrown together with whatever you had around and took the least effort to prepare. That is a shame. Here is a golden opportunity to bond with family over a good meal, and maybe even some conversation, but the opportunity is tossed away like the fish sticks and canned green beans that were hastily prepared and served and promptly tossed in the garbage. My wife tells tale of her own mother (God bless you, Jackie…) who looked at dinner as a task to be done as easily as possible. Jackie used to say that if it was something that took more than 30 minutes to make, she wasn’t making it. Now granted, there were 6 kids, plus Ed (father-in-law), and two of the boys were especially finicky, but still…My wife was the oldest of the family, and probably could have, and probably did, help where she could, but who knows…
My point is that I will bet that it was and is the case more often than not, and I wonder if that is just indicative of our problems regarding the breakdown of the family unit as a whole? What is more basic than gathering the family around the fire and eating the kill form the days hunt? We can debate that topic in another blog, because I really want to try and stay on point with this food thing.
Back to Tanta Kringle (mom). It is in no small part that I owe my love affair with food to her. She always made sure that as a family, we ate together, and we ate very well. I can count on one hand and have a few fingers left over, all the bad meals that we ate together. She always knew how flavors worked, and that is important because so many people today have no clue, largely because no one ever taught them. I was lucky, because I was always hanging around in the kitchen with my mother when she was doing her meal magic. She allowed and encouraged me to taste, to cook, to try new ideas, and to really enjoy the creative experience. My mother always said that ‘food is an expression of love’, and I couldn’t agree more. I use that as my cooking mantra today. While I am certainly no professional chef (although one of my best friends growing up, and the drummer of the rock band I was in became one), I am reasonably confident and competent in the kitchen. I enjoy creating. I enjoy tasting. I enjoy eating. I hate cleaning up. It is awesome because my wife is also a ‘foodie’, and although she is not the ‘addicted foodie’ that I am, the pretty redhead can hang. It is so much fun to have someone (and a really pretty someone, too) to try all different food things with. At home, she is perfectly happy to let me flap my culinary wings and see what brand of havoc I can create. I have done everything from smoked ribs and brisket, to seafood bisque and ratatouille, to all sorts of Italian and German classics, and just about everything in-between. It is a rare day indeed when I don’t feel like doing something creative regarding mealtime. I admit that it is not always ‘creative’ in the classic sense, but it is always ‘good food’, in the tradition of my mother. I do not ever, nor will I ever, just ‘throw something together’ because it was easier to do so. I am lucky, because my pretty-someone of a wife is also a really good come cook too! We always say that she is a better cook, but I am a better chef. If you want simple, good, everyday food, you would pick her. If you want something tricky and involved, you want me. We have made some amazing meals together…
Another thing that is really cool, and that has brought some really creative out-of-the-box food ideas is the resurgence of food trucks. I am not talking about the roach-coaches and ptomaine-travelers of yesteryear. No sir! I am talking about Gourmet Food Trucks. Some of the trucks exist simply because of the economics’ of today’s world. A chef wants to ply his trade, but there is no way in H-E-Double Ladles that he can afford the rent, the insurance, staff, food costs, and the myriad of other expenses that come with owning a brick and mortar establishment. So what is he to do? Give up and flip burgers and shake out baskets of French fries in his local McWendKings? I don’t think so! What this chef can do is, for a significantly smaller investment, start a gourmet food truck. We have all seen them, and there are more and more of them popping up every day, and believe me, it is a good thing! Do you remember that thing that I was saying a few paragraphs back, about trying different diverse cuisines but not necessarily needing a passport? Well, you erstwhile food critics, this is what I was talking about. On any given day in just about any city all across America, all you need to do is go to a busy downtown area around lunchtime, and you will see a cornucopia of trucks, all with different and frankly quite amazing culinary offerings. You will really see, smell, and taste it all, from classic American to Vietnamese Bahn Mi and everything in between. It is Nirvana for foodies! If you ever get the chance, stop by and check one out. The prices are generally reasonable, and they are very eager to please, because they know that in today’s world of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, not to mention residents of the blogosphere, word of mouth will either make them or absolutely kill them.
Let me close todays’ non-sports blog with this. Food, glorious food…it’s not just for filling the pie hole anymore…

Advertisements

One thought on “Food, glorious food…

  1. Pingback: Food, glorious food… | Blager's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s