Monday, August 23, 2010

Making food memories

One of the reasons I love to cook and (especially) bake is because of the memories that were made doing these things while I was growing up. Everything in our family revolves around food. Everything. I know ours in not out of the ordinary in this aspect (and this aspect only since my family is crazy) but it’s just something we all can relate to. When someone does something nice for me, I bake for them. If they are hurting, suffering, sick, mourning; you name it: I will bake and/or cook my face off for them to show my affection. It’s how I roll.

This has become part of life with Dennis. We both love to cook and try new things. If it’s a failure we laugh about it. If it’s a success, we brag about it. My grandmother likes to pay us with food. When she found out that Dennis loves her black beans, every time she needed something done she’d cook them for him. Last week he traveled to Arizona (where she lives now) for work and we all joked that she would probably show up at his hotel room with black beans. The first thing she said to him was “I would have made you Frijoles negros but I don’t have a stove in my apartment anymore!”  She recently moved to an independent living facility since she’s 90 years old and couldn’t be trusted in the house alone anymore. She can still cook up a storm though!

We have a neighbor who also likes to cook (hi Sue!) so we enjoy swapping foods. Today, for instance, I brought over some rice and beans and came home with fresh zucchini and Quinoa salad. Win/win in my eyes.


I don’t know how to make rice and beans for 2 people, so I always have enough to feed the neighborhood. I took this picture with my phone to send to my mom and sister. They both responded with lots of yums and indicated they were jealous in some way or another. Since I’m the baby I’ve spent the last five/six years trying to perfect our traditional Puerto Rican recipes so I can teach my kids to cook too someday.


I also made my own soy green tea latte with the last of the matcha tea I bought at our local farmer’s market. My tea lady hasn’t been back since 4th of July so I need to get my matcha green tea from somewhere else now. I bought some from Teavana but the quality wasn’t as good. Come back tea lady!!

Do you have any food memories with friends and/or family?

Mine include my grandmother’s frijoles negros, her breakfast custard called Crema, (OMG it’s so bad but so good) and a fork and dish she gave me when I was a kid that I still use today; my mom’s potato salad, flan, watching her teach Dennis how to make a few very key Puerto Rican recipes,  and the Thanksgiving when I was designated the family baker.  I was 14. My mom put my sister in charge of the pumpkin pies and they came out horrible. My job was apple pie and it came out perfect. Now I honestly don’t have a taste for either. Go figure.

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