Monday, August 2, 2010

Food for Thought:
What do you eat? What won't you eat? Do you suggest any interesting pairings? What is your favorite studio snack?

This month the Etsymetal blog carnival theme is food; how we like it, where we like it, what we don't like and what's our favorite. Coming from a house where my Mother was a home-ec teacher (way back when...) and my Father was a professional chef, food was always around and it was always being discussed. My first memories as a child are of gathering at my Grandmother's house for holidays around her HUGE dining room table with our extended family, eating until we couldn't move. Yeah, I know of food.

Honestly, I try pretty much anything once. I wouldn't go in for the "gross out" food just to be gross...no bugs or slimyness, but I think some of my favorite childhood foods would probably fall into the "ewwwwwwwww" category. I grew up on a Luxemberger sausage called "mustripen"
which is a combination of pork, cabbage, onions and blood. My dad had us regularly eating snails and sweetbreads as well as my favorite to this day, carpicco de carne, or thinly shaved raw beef.

Whew, that makes me sound like a committed carnivore, which I am not. I love vegetables above all things and they are always the first thing I eat off my plate. I am a voracious salad eater and put all matter of ingredients on a bed of lettuce. It would be very easy for me to be a vegetarian if I didn't have a family to cook for who didn't share my passion for vegetables.

Given this, the two things I will not eat will sound surprising. One is lima beans. We grew up, not poor, but decidedly working class and my Mother stretched a dollar with frozen bags of mixed vegetables. I still shudder when I see them, peering out of the frozen food case at the grocery store. Dry, hard, flavorless, I swallowed them whole like pills. My other "no way" food grew out of childhood trauma as well. Aunt Dorothy, in typical midwestern fashion, lived on a huge piece of land outside Milwaukee, where I grew up. I remember her garden, probably two acres in total, with what seemed like half the acreage devoted to the biggest, hairiest, seediest, stringiest green beans that ever were put forth on this earth. Damn, they were gross. We had bags upon bags of them stored in the freezer and we ate them all winter. The odd thing was this, my parents were excellent cooks, well trained and interested in trying new things. The green beans were an anomaly on my plate and remain a mystery to me even now. I'd like to add here that, although I have tried Marmite, that's another thing I won't be lining up to eat again.

As for interesting pairings, I have millions but my very favorite, and one I haven't had in years, is a bacon and peanut butter sandwich. My Mom used to send me to school with B&PB sandwiches in my lunch box and it used to gross out all the kids at my table. It's no wonder I wasn't much of a success at school. I begged my mother for the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches my friends brought but, to no avail. Why my mother thought the bacon was better for me than marshmallow fluff is also one of the great mysteries of my childhood.

These days I am trying to avoid the family heart attack so I eat very consciously. I am fortunate to have come from a family who loves to cook and that was passed on to me. I make most of our food from scratch and utilize a large freezer for things like chili and maranara sauce. I even make our yogurt. As far as studio snacks, I'm trying really hard to avoid eating in the studio. My hands are filthy and covered with who knows what when I'm out there so eating in the studio is risky business. I always have hot tea with me, no matter how hot it is in there and, if I really need a little something to snack on, I take dark chocolate chips and broken graham crackers and nibble on them. They are usually long gone by the time my hands are into anything really vile.

I'd like to end with a recipe that comes from my Grandma Lil. This recipe is from the very tattered copy of "Our Favorite Tried Recipes" put together by the "Saint Veronica Ladies" in 1951. If my house were on fire and my husband and kids were safe, this is what I'd grab. It's a window into my past with advertisements for businesses I fondly remember but who are long gone. It has spatters and notes in the margins from a woman who is also long gone. My Mother still knows who all the women are and can tell you all about them. Who had the biggest family, who was known as the best cake baker, jam maker, dollar stretcher.

To read what foods Etsymetal team members are addicted to, check out these blogs:

nina gibson
http://ninagibsondesigns.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-carnival-food-for-thought.html
victoria takahashi
http://vtakahashi.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-carnival-august-2010.html
stacey hansen
http://wildflowerdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/08/etsymetal-blog-carnival.html
thomasin durgin
http://metalriot.blogspot.com/2010/08/things-i-eat.html
inbar bareket
http://www.inbarbareket.net/2010/08/food-for-thought.html
lauren anabela beaudoin
http://www.creativedexterity.com/Blog/files/8cd60b25b0de7eeecb525fada2fa5173-6.html
maria whetman
http://fluxplay.blogspot.com/2010/08/food-for-thought.html
beth cyr
http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-carnival-080210-food-for-thought.html
cynthia delgiudice
http://cynthiadelgiudice.blogspot.com/
caitlyn davey
http://discomedusa.typepad.com