A little background on my life through FOOD. More than just something to nourish your body, food can foster the perfect environment for memories and special times!
Many things in life can make you nostalgic for times in the past. You know that feeling of deja vu when you smell a certain smell, hear a certain sound, or taste a certain taste? Our lives can be defined by moments, memories, scrap books, diaries, BLOGS, lyrics in songs, or chats with friends reminiscing about old times. But have you ever considered how our histories can be defined by food? Food is such an integral part of our everyday life so it’s no wonder that certain foods can bring up certain memories or hold a special place in our hearts.
I came across this article that delves into this very idea. Read it here. It’s about writing out your own ‘food biography‘. Ten dishes, meals, or food items that standout in your memory for some reason in your life. I thought this sounded like such a cool idea and I knew I had to take part in thinking back on some of the special foods in my own life. My foodie senses were tingling with this writing project!
So today, that’s what I have to share with you all. My food biography in ten dishes. Ten dishes, meals, snacks, and food items that bring back good memories from my past. In all honesty, I had to stop myself from going over ten! I never realized how many foods mean something to me over the course of my life! I could have gone on forever! But for the sake of time and sparing you from having to read and read and read, I stuck with the first ten things that came to my mind!
- Garlic bagel with Sausage: Saturday mornings with my dad at our favorite bagel shop (which sadly no longer exists). That’s the number one memory that comes up when I think of this combination. I don’t know how I ever came up with such a weird combo….especially since it totally grosses me out now, but I know I liked it as a little kid! Such great fun going out for a special breakfast treat whenever time allowed.
- Pastina with Margarine and Salt: Without a doubt this makes me think of my grandma. She passed a few years ago, but every time I went to her house as a child and sat in her little Italian kitchen with all her little tchotchkes around, she made me this simple meal. And it was perfect. No matter how many times I tried to get my mom to make it for me at home or for other family members to recreate it, none of it could compare to when my grandma made it. It didn’t matter if you had the same little pasta noodles, the same margarine brand, or the same ratio of salt to boiling water….it was never the same as Grandma’s pastina! Heck, I didn’t even like margarine as a kid, but it was a necessity in this simple meal.
- Ham and Pineapple Pizza: I had this for the first time at a daycare I went to before I started preschool. The little old lady chef that cooked for us made homemade foods everyday for lunch and I remember this pizza being EPIC. It was probably my first introduction to the deliciousness of sweet and savory combos and I’ve been a fan ever since. This pizza combo had a reoccurrence during the a championship game for my softball team in my grade school years. The game went into extra innings and as it went on we were all getting a little hungry. Luckily one of the girl’s dad owned a pizzeria and brought us a few pies to chow down on between innings! Ham and pineapple powered us through to win the game! Oh and I distinctly remember coming up with a rap song with my best friend to commemorate this pizza filled night of success. No, I will not be sharing it. 😉
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Rice: A staple meal of my childhood that my mom would make a few times a month. It’s something that my grandma made for her kids when they were little and it’s stayed in the family for years. Just a simple dish made with chicken breast and cream of mushroom soup and ALWAYS served with rice and broccoli. Simple. Comforting. And makes me think of home whenever I have it. Or smell it! 🙂 I really should try to remake a ‘healthy’ version of this dish.
- Graham Crackers with Brummel n’ Brown: My favorite after school snack as a kid. It has special meaning because it’s a snack my mom used to make for herself as a youngster! I still get cravings for this every once in a while but unfortunately I can’t find Brummel n’ Brown anywhere any more. And the snack simply isn’t the same without it! Gee, now I am wanting some graham crackers! (I guess peanut butter will have to suffice for a topping!)
- Oats with Blueberries Walnuts and Yogurt: The first breakfast I started making when I began taking healthy eating AND breakfast eating more seriously. I made this every morning for my mom and I when I lived at home. Nowadays, I use the microwave for my oats, but when I would specially make this for my mom and I each morning, I made the oats on the stove top with lots of cinnamon and patience. 🙂 Then topped it with cool, creamy yogurt, frozen blueberries, and a hearty handful of walnuts for the perfect combination of healthy fats, proteins, and carbs. Plus, it tastes pretty darn delicious as well! Gotta add this back into my breakfast rotation sometime soon.
- Smoked Mackerel: My first introduction the wide world of exotic seafood (of which I am A-list member of now! 😉 ). Before I became adventurous enough to try actual sushi, my parents would take me with them to the local sushi bar and would order me smoked mackerel whenever it was fresh and available on the menu. The salty, smokiness combined with the buttery fish texture was incredible. I haven’t been able to find smoked mackerel in years, but I’ll always remember it as the first fish I really fell in love with. Within a few years I was using chopsticks and pounding rolls and sashimi with the best of ’em!
- Seabass with Red Pepper Sauce: This memory is bittersweet. When I was little, we used to have seabass a few times a week! Back then, the price was reasonable and the ‘butter of the sea’ (as I like to call it!) was my family’s favorite fish! Well, all of a sudden it became REALLY popular and the price sky-rocketed. You can’t get it nowadays for less than 25 dollars a pound in my area. So now seabass is reserved for special occasions and sadly Wegmans doesn’t even sell the red pepper sauce that we used to serve it with. But it still remains my ALL TIME FAVORITE FISH.
- Grandma’s Spaghetti and Meatballs: The quintessential Italian meal. This recipe is my mom’s mom’s signature and it’s been passed down from generation to generation. My grandma still serves it twice a week and I’ve gone my whole life with having this meal on the regular. The sauce is just the right thickness, just the right sweetness, and the noodles are always perfectly al dente! My grandma even makes chicken sausage sometimes for me (since I don’t eat red meat!).
- Mom’s Chili: Ultimate comfort food. This has been a staple throughout my whole life and my mom has really nailed the perfect chili recipe! (Would anyone want me to share the recipe?) It’s made with turkey, turkey sausage, three kinds of beans, tons of veggies, sweet potatoes, and a secret chili sauce that really makes it OUTSTANDING. When I was little, I topped it with Fritos and cheese….now I’m all for creamy avocado and cool, tangy yogurt. The best.
Would you consider writing your own ‘food biography’?
What’s a dish/meal/food that brings back good memories for you?
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