Friday, October 16

My culinary inspirations

Yesterday, I watched the movie Julie and Julia with my friend Kim. I loved the plot, because it had to do with both food and writing. As I watched the movie, I enjoyed reflecting on some of my culinary role models over the years.

My grandma was someone I pretty much idolized in the kitchen. Everything she served was homemade. Her house was always filled with aromas too wonderful to describe. Before my mom and dad were married, I think it was a prerequisite that my mom learn how to cook like my Grandma. My grandma used to spend Saturdays teaching my mom how to cook. Afterwards, they would freeze the sauce they had made and everyone enjoyed eating the leftover food for the rest of the week. I remember savoring her stuffed mushrooms, spaghetti with fresh meats, and her salad that had the perfect blend of oil and vinegar. For dessert, she would usually make thick, creamy custard or homemade biscotti.

Someone else I deeply admired was my neighbor in Italy. My first boyfriend lived right next door, so our families spent a lot of time together. I used to spend hours in Bianca's kitchen observing her as she worked. Meals with our neighbors were amazing. Bianca would serve several courses. Some of the main dishes I remember were fresh cannelloni filled with spinach and ricotta in a homemade b├ęchamel sauce, ravioli, and fresh tortellini soup, just to name a few. One of my favorite side dishes was steamed artichokes drizzled with olive oil and garlic.

For me, there is something about knowing someone has lovingly prepared a meal for you that makes me feel cared for. I have role models in many different areas of my life as well, but since food is always on my mind in some way, I enjoyed reflecting on some of the women who have inspired me towards the art of cooking.

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."


MommaMindy said...

I just realized why I am NOT a good cook. I have never been able to live in Italy. I just know I could be a really, really, really good cook if I could live there. :) another blog for you to visit, Kimmie is mother to one homemade daugther, six adopted

Her faith and love is contagious.

Brent and Darlene said...

HI Mindy,

I bet you are already a great cook! Thank you for all of the great blog suggestions. It is always fun to check out new ones.

See you soon!

Joslyn said...

Fantastic post! You made me miss Italy a great deal tonight, the simplicity, beauty & depth to everything. I hope you & Brent are doing good and really hope I can see you when we're back around the holidays. Maybe a dinner party w/ the Palmer's is in order. Wonderful food & wonderful friends. Ciao bella and have a great day!!

Brent and Darlene said...

Hi Joslyn!

Thank you for taking time to read follow my nostalgic post. So glad you enjoyed it. Yes, we will most definitely need to have a dinner party. I hope all is well!

Ci vediamo presto!

Suzanne said...

You made me soooo hungry! I could almost smell the sauces and see you in the steamy kithcen. Maybe you should add some recipes to your blog?!


Brent and Darlene said...

:) I don't think my Grandma shared her full recipe with me, because mine never tastes as good as my memories of her sauce.




Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!