Monday, June 28, 2010

Land Lady!

I just moved to an awesome house in St. Louis. My boyfriend has been friends with the owners, Denise and Aaron, for some years now and they are awesome as well. Here Denise's food story!

Most of my childhood memories center around our kitchen or the dinner table. My mom cooked a simple dinner every night, and until I was in high school, we always had dinner as a family. "Helping" my mom cook dinner every night was our chance to talk, just girl to girl. I got so much from that time.

My mom, aunts, grandmothers, etc. are all "good southern women" who show their love through food. Both sets of my grandparents grew up poor, on farms. I have had some of the best meals of my life at their tables. I moved away from home (Chattanooga, Tennessee) in 2002. Every once in a while, when I am feeling a little home sick, I will put Paula Deen on the TV. I don't always watch, sometimes it is just nice to have as background noise. Once I just turned it on to take a nap. She sounds like my Aunt Inez.

I went to church for 3 reasons:
1. My parents made me.
2. I liked to sing in the choir.
3. The potluck suppers were amazing.

I used to steal the salt shaker from my mom's kitchen and go out to the garden, pick a cucumber, and sit and eat it right there. I hated working in that garden, but the food that came out of it was soo good.

I am a good cook. I love to cook. Hosting a dinner party makes me so happy, and Aaron and I have had some winners. However, I cannot cook when I am angry. My food tastes bad. On the flip side, when I am in a good mood, my food tastes better.

I have been adjusting to Celiac disease (gluten allergy) for almost 2 years now. Thank goodness I can cook! There are so many products available, and with a little searching I am enjoying most of my favorite foods. The two big exceptions are sandwich bread and biscuits. If anyone out there has ever tried gluten free bread, you will appreciate this:
Most gluten free bread is sold frozen. At best is is dense, and tastes funny. After moving to Austin, I went to the Whole Foods downtown for some lunch and shopping. The Whole Foods in Austin is HUGE. It is like a small city with several restaurants and lots of prepared foods. Anyway, we were in the bakery section, and I decided to ask someone stocking the baked goods if they had any gluten free bread. She pointed to a display where there were two kinds, white (potato flour) and whole grain (didn't notice, was too distracted by the white bread). I picked up the bread and it was SOFT! I teared up and yelled "OMG it's soft!" to my friend. I couldn't quite squeezing it and saying "it's so soft!" the whole time we were in the checkout. As soon as I got home, I opened the bag and ate a slice. It was amazing!

My mom used to make this really bland baked chicken. She would bake a whole chicken with some veggies and stuff. My brother and I didn't like it, so we barely ate any. The good part of that was that the next night, mom would always make chicken enchiladas with the left over chicken. The enchiladas were awesome. My brother and I never told mom we hated the chicken, so she kept making it. As a matter of fact, when mom announced that dinner was baked chicken, Wes and I would usually get excited. For years, mom never understood why we got so excited over the baked chicken, but barely touched it. We told her when we were both in our 30s. Come to find out, mom would have happily skipped the baked chicken night and just made us some enchiladas.

1 comment:

  1. re: not being able to cook when you're mad

    Have you read Like Water For Chocolate (do not, I repeat, do NOT skip the book to watch the movie)?

    I think you would toooootally dig it. It's a quick, easy Magic Realism novella that has a part that rings sooo true to your statement.