Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Family Tradition

So I lied. The very day I posted about not having any traditions around the table, my annual package from Mom arrived including her famous Halloween cookies. These delights are peanut butter with snickers bars in the middle (see photo). These morsels highlight my love-hate relationship with food. Few foods becon to me like these cookies, and I could eat the whole package, surely made with three sticks of real butter, in one sitting. Instead, I pine away my entire day at work to come home and eat half-a-dozen or so. Unfortunately, they only last a couple of days. I am not sure that my cholestorol level could handle any more, anyway.

I am always very interested in other's special culinary traditions, especially ethnic. So please post some comments about them. I will take on finding them and trying them out. My mother also blesses our family with an old Norwegian treat each Christmas that was handed down from my grandmother on my Dad's side, Lefse. You will be seeing more posts about this in the future.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feelings...talking about feelings...

Thanks for the invitation to collaborate on my second favorite subject. (Maybe even my third since buying my motorcycle.) Having sampled examples of the amazing red borscht, onion pierogies and napolean cake that Alex speaks of, I am fully knowing where she is coming from. There are some amazing ethnic traditions rooted deeply into food and at the dinner table. I hope she will share more about that as well as the food.

On the other hand, I don't feel like I have a tradition around the table, but there are a lot of feelings there about food, camraderie and love. Food is such a great analogy for our lives that I am going to take on exploring my humanity in cooking. Because frankly, as in life, I have a love-hate relationship with my food. It is more likely a love-love-hate relationship.

For instance, I cannot explain the deep sense of loss that I felt over my son's aversion to onions. Over the last number of years, it is a rare occasion that onions have been absent from any dish that I prepare or order or consumer. The blow was similar to my son taking root as fan of the arch-rival of my favorite football team. Can a son be disowned over onions? Are there other ingredients that can produce this response? What if he has a garlic allergy? I could even handle vegetarianism but not a garlic allergy.
Do others have this attachment to their food? When pondering the idea of food as a state of my being, ironically, garlic and onion are the sex life of my palate. Unquestionably important. I could survive without it (questionably), but the connection and spice that it adds to my life is immeasurable. A variety of foods have this context with me. Many things turn me on, gastronomically speaking, and produce a similar desire and passion within, but I find that often they are rooted in the flavoring of garlic and onion.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Welcome to No Chip Left Behind

Hi, everyone. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

The globe is going through a tough time.  So, while politics, economics and war continue to divide friends, coworkers and neighbors, it's food and music that anchor us as the universal truths. Who doesn't like a good meal? And, it seems like when I introduce folks, 90% of the time the topic automatically reverts to what everyone's been eating lately and where. Thus, all this brought me to the idea of creating the blog - combining a few of the things I love most - to eat and to write.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Bourdain and, several months later, Michael Symon - both talented, poetic and down to earth chefs who make a big gastronomic impact on our food pallets.  But my favorite chef of all time was my Grandma. She's been on my mind a lot lately, so I think she's channeling some of this energy at the moment. I miss her rich red borscht with sour cream, her grilled potato perogis with onions, (varenikis, in Russian) and her Napoleon cake - with layers and layers of delicate filo dough and her trademark cream.  I'm dedicating this blog to her.

But the purpose of this new creative journey is way bigger than one person - it's really all about you and your food loves. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you go apple or mushroom picking? Have you discovered a recipe that others would enjoy? Are there favorite restaurants, chefs or food trends that you always have an opinion on but haven't developed the audience?

If "yes" to any of these, let me know and I'll add you to the contributor list. My hope is that there's lots of readers and lots of writers, from all the various continents, benefitting  from this experiment.  With our family and social circles scatterred all over the world, a hungry soul in Manhattan may want to know about the best paella in Madrid. And you get to tell us all about it.

No food related topic is off limits.

We survived. Let's eat!

- Alexsandra Sukhoy.