My mother loved FOOD- shopping, unpacking, organizing the refrigerator, preparing, cooking, eating, wrapping leftovers, eating, cleaning out the refrigerator, eating some more. She studied food and became a dietItian. Studied some more and with her masters degree was titled nutritionist. Then she earned an M.S.W. in social work at the age of 50. I think she wanted to figure out through research why food was always top of mind.We relied on radishes cleaned and in (Tupperware) with French dressing as an after school snack. Sometimes I opted for a can of Buitoni Ravioli, yum as I think about it now.
We waited around and did homework until dinner. We came to expect something breaded, something fried, with Le Seur Peas and a baked sweet potato. We looked forward to broiled baby lamp chops- we still do. The standard appetizer was a salad of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and carrots shredded on top. Our cabinets were filled with one or more of Hostess-snowballs, cupcakes, twinkies, drakes ring dings and yodels. Wasn’t yours? Euphoric gastronomic recall. Mom saved the Lindt Chocolate for her card games.As the culinary seed was planted I waited for it to sprout into my type of cuisine. I too, love food.
However, everything else around it also delights. I have an extensive salt and pepper shaker collection. Through the years I’ve collected sets from places I’ve traveled to. Antiquing added some of the silver and glass ensembles. My most valued treasures are the sets that were thoughtful and hand picked gifts from family and friends.Betty Boop and Harley Davidson hang out in my cabinet together and are often called on to add extra flavor and put smiles on our faces. Dishes, silverware, vases and amber glass anything, offer flare to my visual hobby. With flowers arranged in one bud vases and table settings in place, we decant the wine and add it to the palette. My collection of soupcons , mine are (petite silver serving ladles), Merriam Webster defines the term as “a touch, a dash a small amount, an inkling.” I first saw a collection at an antique fair in Paris and added them to mine.A piece of advice handed down to my from a wise, older friend was that collecting things you love and having hobbies that help bring you to full expression helps to add grace and delight to your world. Yes and Yes!Shopping for ingredients and researching the best mozzarella and fleur verte, a favorite past time. We align seats for comfort and space as we add to the canvas. As we double check that the creases in the napkins are well pressed in our Downton Abbey moment, we fill the water glasses 3/4 full. Then the final touches- lighting candles and setting up the ice on the bar next to the olives, lemon and lime slices. All the time while paying attention to details, the flames on the oven are on low and I check my ” something breaded, something fried.” I learned from The Best.