It’s a simple thing, sometimes, to be reminded of your hometown. We’re all susceptible to those waves of nostalgia: your favorite local band comes up on your iPod, the light angles in through the windows just so, and suddenly you’re closing your eyes and being transported, imagining the smell of fresh cherries on a summer day by the side of the Blue Star Highway. For me, food almost always does this, which is probably why I love making and eating it so much. There are so many senses to be engaged, and so much opportunity for reflection and joy.
It was a quiet weekend around these parts, with much baking and experimenting in the kitchen by yours truly. We actually went out twice but somehow still found time to nest. There was talk with some good friends over some delicious Pad See Ewe on Friday night about having a “Pho Night,” and you better believe that will get documented here! And yes, I did make chili last night…because even if I don’t know what the flip is happening on the field, I can still enjoy the down-home American Superbowl tradition of staring blankly at the TV over a big bowl of homemade chili and beans. I even topped it with bacon (find the chili recipe here).
I love mornings like this. Diluted, soft light filtering in through the windows, hot coffee on the stove, no real obligations. It reminds me of waking up on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. Sundays were not relaxing mornings–we had a rigorous chore schedule that had to be completed by noon (which included scrubbing the bathroom floors on our hands and knees) and there was the impending dread of doing all the homework I’d put off. Sundays were never fun days.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I tend to overthink things. Well, as I’m sure was predicted by many, it took me ages to pick something to begin with on here. My first recipe! On my first food blog! I agonized over this decision. I’m big on tradition and celebrations, as anyone who has met me knows. I’m the girl who makes the same birthday cake every year for birthdays (because it’s the BIRTHDAY cake) and has an unflinching allegiance to the same Thanksgiving menu (cranberry sauce like THIS, not like that). In a world that changes and grows and zips along so merrily, so quickly, I do find it comforting to put stock in traditions. Gigo’s meatballs, Daddy’s scrambled eggs, Nonna’s plum pudding. These are recipes I cherish, brought into my life by people I cherish: and I definitely want to pass on some of my own recipes someday. Because I take all this cooking stuff so seriously, I knew I had to choose something for my FIRST recipe that was cherishable. Something I could look back on and be proud to say was my best work.