Wednesday, November 21, 2012

[Cooking Corner Introduction]: Thank you, Mom!

It's not breaking news to those of you who know me, but I LOVE food.  I love cooking it, I love eating it, I love talking about it, I love all of it.  It's probably not enough to say I am a foodie, instead, it is my true passion.  Cooking for others has always felt like an intimate experience for me.  A way of showing love.  I don't need a psychologist to tell me that this stems from my mother.  I grew up with homemade food everyday.  Feeding her family was (and still is) my mom's ultimate way of nurturing.  She put me on the morning school bus with breakfast in hand, she packed my lunches until I was 17, and cooked a hot meal for dinner every night.  And she did this while also working full-time, and carting me around to the 400 after-school activities I was a part of.  Unbeknowest to me at the time, but very clear to me now, she was just amazing.  [And she still is.  At 31, I still return from every family visit with a backpack full of heaving tupperware]. 

It doesn't hurt that her food is f'n awesome.  I know everyone thinks their mom's cooking is the best, but trust me, hers is out of this world.  Though she grew up in India and is - without a doubt -  a true master of Indian cuisine, she experiments all the time with different genres and ingredients.  I was raised to never be afraid of trying something, to always be open and to appreciate the art of cooking.  It was never preached to me, but I was also raised with the notion that delicious food could be healthy.  Not healthy as in super low-calorie or low-carb or whatever kids today think "healthy" means.  But meals that include "real", nutrient-filled, food.  I rarely ate a meal that didn't include vegetables (many of which were grown in our backyard), but I never really noticed it because it was delicious, and I always had variety.  As utterly naive as this may sound, it didn't occur to me until my mid-20s that most people who were similar to me in means and background didn't grow up with that.  I learned that many of my friends' parents did not cook very often often, or they cooked the same 2-3 dishes over and over again, or the meals they ate were pretty unhealthy.  I always knew my mom's cooking was really good, but I didn't appreciate how good until I left.

Now with my own family, I find myself forging the same bond between food and family.  Though I've been cooking for many years, I am more impassioned about it than ever because I want to instill the same types of food-values in my child as I was given.  Ironically, however, I have far less time to cook than I did pre-baby.   But this means I've been honing the craft of cooking dishes that are relatively quick/low mainteance, but also nutritious and (most importantly!) tasty.  I know many of my friends feel similar about cooking and also have little  time to do it, so I 'm going to share some tips on this blog under the cheesy heading Cooking Corner.  I will forewarn that I am not much of a recipe follower, I subscribe more to the "little bit of this, lotta bit of that" cooking philosophy (again, thanks to mi mama), but hopefully I can help with menu planning and inspire some ideas.

On that note, I'm off to parents' for Thanksgiving to stuff my face for 4 days.  Writing this post makes me realize that I owe my mom a big, fat, THANK YOU while I'm there!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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