Well, I admit it - I am a foodie and have not met many dishes that I didn't like! It would be extremely challenging if I had to choose a favorite. Living in Alaska turned me into a "Seafood Snob" as we were able to get freshly caught seafood as soon as the boats would come in. I remember the best fish or seafood items were the ones you reeled in or trapped yourself. After that experience, it has been difficult to order seafood at a restaurant or purchase it from a store. Though I only have fish & chips once or twice a year, halibut fish & chips are extremely tasty and, I will select this composition over codfish without any hesitation. Salmon, King Crab, Sea Cucumbers, clams, muscles, shrimp, and many other tasty sea creatures make my mouth water when I think about a perfectly prepared seafood meal.
Many people have similar experiences concerning traditional family dishes. If asked about food selection and family tradition, I would have to list my favorite meal as Pork Roast with Bread Dumplings and Sauerkraut. We always ate this when we visited my paternal grandparents. My mother makes this just like my grandma did - with perfect gravy and tasty dumplings. The sauerkraut contained chopped up bits of bacon which gave it great flavor.
My favorite foodie memory regarding my maternal grandmother was her fantastic banana bread. I remember helping her bake this treat when I visited. One lesson learned from Grandma Lou was the "best way to eat a banana". Many people have since told me that I peel bananas incorrectly over the years. However, I site my Grandma Lou's reference to her method of banana peeling. She always told me to, "Peel the banana from the end opposite to the stem because that leaves you with a banana handle (stem). You can use the banana handle to hold the fruit while you eat it and this method is more a-peeling than other options". She would follow the statement with laughter, and I followed in appreciation of the pun.
Food can be a conduit to bring people together. We lived on an island, and some people my parents worked with or knew from the community did not have local family. They would invite some of these people over for a meal, and we would visit. This gathering was an excellent opportunity to learn about the food traditions of our guests. What foodstuffs did they miss the most? Did they ever cook those items since leaving home? Were there foods they didn’t like?
I often tried to imagine the foods and locations our guests described. I wanted to find additional information about the regions described during the meal with guests. That curiosity led to library trips to look up the terrain, local weather patterns, commerce details, state bird, state flower, and other details to learn more about these areas of the United States The search eventually advanced to include information on food festivals in different locations. A favorite activity involved gathering entertaining and occasionally random bits of information from our guests regarding food trends and geographic distribution of foodstuffs.
Questions to ponder regarding meals or snacks:
- What are your favorite food traditions?
- What trends regarding edibles did you like most?
- Do you like to cook, grill, bake, or have someone else prepare the food?
- What food item would you want to be in constant supply?
- What food if any, would you never want to see again – even if you were experiencing shortages of meals or ingredients?
- Do you prefer to cook at home or go out to eat?
- Do you try to indulge in local foods or liquids when you travel or do you stick to your regular meal intake?
- Would you eat odd or unappealing items out of curiosity (example: consumption of crickets or other insects)?
- Why is it that people often describe the taste of an unusual protein source, animal or insect, as being similar to chicken? Are our taste buds so beaten down that this is the closest comparison we can generate?
- Do you, or did you ever want to, work as a chef?
- Name the worst item or dish you ever prepared. Why do you think it was repulsive?
Food can foster many emotions – joy, anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, greed, gratitude and panic. We can experience joy when sharing food and cooking with friends, family, or strangers. This joy may also contribute to a bit of anxiety – are you going to have enough food to meet the needs of your family, friends, and guests? Will everyone like what you serve? Fear can result from issues of food insecurity – less access to primary or specific foods due to where you live or what you can afford.
Food insecurity may result in anger due to the imbalance of resources (not enough transportation, finances, or availability of affordable nutrition. Irritation may also occur due to jealousy regarding the food resource imbalance or dining company. Greed, whether fueled by an urge to hoard or accumulate different edible items or a random preoccupation with eating a few types of food, can have a significant effect on a person’s dining habits.
Panic may occur in conditions of scarce resources – such as following a natural disaster. Food terror can also happen during supply and demand imbalances due to production or shipping issues. Most of us can identify with the panic associated with preparing food for visiting family members – especially when one cooking mishap sets off a whole avalanche of other events. While terror or alarm is unwelcome, it is hard to avoid these feelings. Let your focus be the gratitude regarding having food, enjoying company during your meal, delighting in the culinary process and taking in the pleasant aromas, tastes, and visual appearance of the nutrients.
Most of us have experienced the food item that didn’t look like it should but tasted better than you expected. I recall a “Baked Alaska Avalanche” made for a class in my youth – it looked disastrous, though had fantastic texture and flavor. There are also those instances of everything looking great until you take that first bite of the dish and realize that something went wrong in the preparation. I used to call these food items EtDWETs, an initialism for “Even the Dog Won’t Eat This”. One example from my youth was when I tried to make a cake and added Tablespoons rather than teaspoons of vinegar to the cake…the result was an EtDWET.
So, tell us – What are your food favorites? Have you experienced “EtDWETs”? What dish do you want to cook that you haven’t made as of yet? GrubDudz likely has the fabric prints representing most of the ingredients of the dish! Any ideas with concerning a name for the GrubDudz Blog? Blog name options so far include:
- GrubDudz Morsels