Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Experimenting

For some time now, I have been buying fresh vegetables that I have never eaten before and using the web to learn how to cook them.  I am from the South and soul food is what I grew up on, but my mother would tell you that I was a really picky eater and didn't like most of it as a child.  As I got older and started to cook I branched out from the food that I grew up on, mostly because my family would take me out to the many great restaurants in Savannah, which exposed me to different foods. I started to like things such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and the likes, but one of my favorites is corn beef and cabbage.
I attended catholic schools in the south that was greatly influenced by the many Irish people that lived in Savannah.

 Upon moving to Tampa and now Los Angeles, I started to discover foods in the grocery store like none I had ever seen before.  In the beginning I would see different fruits and vegetables but still wouldn't buy them.  I would stick to what I knew or what I discovered in my many cook books.  Not knowing what I was missing.  It wasn't until I met my husband in Florida who was from Tanzania that I started to eat Jamaican and African foods.

 My daughter had fallen in love with Cuban food, which is much like what I was use to growing up and too heavy for my taste.  I started to like curry foods, aloe juice, yucca,and ginger beer.  It was not until I moved to Los Angeles, that I was introduced to East Indian cuisine, that was great and then Mediterranean food. This opened up my palette to all sort of seasonings and ways of buying and using herbs and seasonings.  It has really changed the way that I buy food.  Now I understand so much more about people who live in cities like Los Angeles and New York where there are so many diverse cultures. When I lived in New York, I lived on campus, but often times I would visit the families of my friends there and my aunt who lived in Queens, and they would shop at the market every couple of days for whatever it was that they were going to cook. 
Where I was from, you would shop every couple of weeks and stock up on what you needed, and when I got older I would shop once a month, and spend a few hundred dollars, only going back for dairy products in between.  We put the deep freezer to good use.  I also wasn't privy to such a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and often times it was rather expensive to buy them. This is all coming together as I really discover what life is really about and how to live it to the fullest.  Something as simple as food also comes into play.  I know, seems like something so simple and the point is that it is really simple. We tend to make things more complicated than they have to be.  Food is simply to nourish the body. It is not to soothe the palette, the soul, the mind, or even the spirit, it is merely to nourish and maintain the health of the body.  When we discover that simple fact, we will look at food very differently as I have started to.

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