FOOD. What a simple word. For some, food is merely fuel that sustains us. For the rest of us, it means so much more. Food can be a comfort, a connection, a learning experience, even a nemesis. We eat when we are happy, we eat when we are sad. We serve food at weddings and birthdays and also at funerals. Sometimes, it's the first or only glimpse we have of a people a world away. Eating is universal. I met a man online who lives in the Philippines. He asked me if I spoke Filipino. I said, "Yes! Food! Adobo, pancit, pinacbet, bagoong, balut..." A connection was instantly made and today he is one of my dearest friends.
I grew up in a family of foodies. My parents grew up in Hawaii and we lived theref or a number of years. With all the different cultures there, one becomes familiar with many Asian and Polynesian cuisines. It is expected at any celebration, even one as american as Thanksgiving, to have dishes from Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, Hawaii, and many other countries served right alongside the turkey. Even now, food is an essential part of family get-togethers. While preparing and eating, we often are already discussing what to make the next time we meet. My grandmother owned a restaurant, an okazu-ya, for as far back as I can remember her. My sister owns a Japanese restaurant in Northern California and another sister works for one of the top chefs in Honolulu.
Food is a way of sharing and reconnecting. A single bite of something can take you back to your childhood, a vacation, or another special moment in your life. It can bring back vivid memories of someone long gone and make them part of your current celebration. Food nourishes body and soul.
My daughter lives in Canada with her husband and his family. It's been nearly 20 months since I've seen her. I miss her very much. We are not great letter writers or emailers for that matter. For us, email is more a way of passing on information than communication. Recently, we've reconnected through Skype. The two of us "talk" for hours about anything and everything. We use text instead of voice most of the time. It gives us a chance to be candid and to whine about the low points of our day. Inevitably, the topic turns to food. We discuss new products we found or new recipes or techniques we've tried or just what we ate that day.
I've been in a writing mood lately and thought, "Hey what if we did a food blog together?" It's something we can work on as a team, it will help keep us in touch and it gives me an opportunity to see the great dishes that she and her hubby make. It also gives her a good reason to use her new camera. She agreed and so starts our journey through the umami of life.
The links are a couple of my favorite cookbooks
Posted by Kar at 2:09 PM