When Taste Buds Grow up
People often assume I've been cooking all my life. Indeed I have if you count PBJ's and Kraft Mac n Cheese.
I was raised thinking spinach was slimy off-green came a can, just add salt and vinegar to the mush, to have muscles like Popeye. The cheese of choice was a giant railroad track-shaped orange squishy substance called Velveeta. Chinese food also came in a can, which you heat and pour over crunchy fried twigs. With a douse of soy sauce, this was the one and only Chicken Chow Mein. For serious protein, simply fill a glass with very hot faucet water, dunk in a hot dog, and within moments it's ready for its bun!
Then of course there was celery. ...
Fettucini Alfredo with "whipping cream."
...I was positive it was celery that the character Kung Fu, played by David Carradine, picked from the ground to survive on his numerous excursions.
Grown up, my first fancy dish to bring to an Italian dinner party was Fettucini Alfredo. I have the recipe to this day, to glimpse at when I need a good laugh. The dish required "whipping cream." So I happily obliged and added Cool Whip Whipped Cream. What a revelation for my dinner mates when they inquired, having never tasted Sweet Fettucini Alfredo!
My mother and aunts were wonderful cooks, but instead of learning from them, I chose to spend my time exploring the neighborhood, missing all of the cooking tips and stumbling in the door just in time to do my job: Setting the table.
Something changes when your taste buds grow up. A whole world of discovery is waiting! Food can take you on vacation, if only with your taste buds.
I remember the day I first heard of a Grilled PB&J. The peanut butter and jam was warm and oozing out the sides of the bread after being grilled in a skillet. What!? There is a different, possibly BETTER way to make a PB&J?!!
And what a discovery that people actually MADE Tamales! The amazing tasting homemade variety takes 2-3 days to prepare, verses the little paper wrapped tamales in a can that are ready in 7 minutes!
I’m an explorer of anything new; adventuresome, pioneering for the unique, curious and willing to try and maybe even fail.
Exploring outside the same 5 or 6 vegetables, 6 or 7 recipes, and 3 seasonings are not only better nutritionally but celebrates Variety and Culture.
When I can't travel, I simply go on vacation in my kitchen!
I don't consider myself an outstanding cook and I'm definitely no chef.... but I’m an explorer of anything new; adventuresome, pioneering for the unique, curious and willing to try and maybe even fail.
Traveling is a big eye opener in life. There is so much to be tasted and experienced around the world, across the nation, or even in a different zip code. Plenty of Kung Fu excursions everywhere you look.
But, when I can't travel, I simply go on vacation in my kitchen!
I find everyday I live & breathe to be a gift.