29 October 2006
Comfort Food
My mother often complained about raising me “wrong”. Why? Because I had a serious aversion to good home-cooked food during my terrible teens. She often blamed herself for this, as she often fed me, from a very young age (like birth) processed, pre-packaged foods. During one visit to the pediatrician, a nurse explained to her that she need not waste money on the pre-packaged juice bottle I was sipping on, as one could just as easily arrive at the same thing by adding water with regular juice and pouring it into a regular bottle. My mother’s response was something to the effect that she already knew this, I was her fourth and final child, and I was going to go in style.

In style 10 or so years later meant I wouldn’t touch any of the stuff she cooked, or half the stuff my father cooked. She despaired as night after night Swanson’s and Tyson’s TV dinners along with Tostino’s pepperoni pizzas became the mainstay of my diet. Prepackaged, convenient, and, while not super tasty, they were, in my humble adolescent opinion, better than the spaghetti, chicken, and, God-forbid, Hamburger Soup my mother would dish out.

I had a bit of an epiphany eventually. I began to cook and by the time I finished high school, had developed enough of a curiosity in food to actually eat something that resembled what it was supposed to be. My earliest specialty was a turkey breast steamed in white wine and served with a creamy mushroom sauce. The first time I made it was for my father (it was father’s day) and I was tickled to actually be cooking with wine (ha! if I’d have only known…). The fact that he ate all that I had prepared and still wanted more (I’d made a lot, too) only fueled the cooking fires, so to speak.

Fast forward some few years and here I am in the food capital of the world. France! Home of great wine and great food. And dinner? Ha! You know, roots is weird thangs. Tonight's menu: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans—TV Dinner fare! But progress has been made: it was all home cooked.

Oh, and that Hamburger Soup? Still hate it.
posted by Doc at 21:09 | Permalink |