will work for cheese

- from my senses to your screen -

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Food and Family

I grew up in a home where everything revolved around the kitchen table. My grandmother used to setup a table that looked like a Christmas dinner setting every day of her life . My grandfather would get home from work and then everybody would sit around him and wait for him to take the first bite. After that, the feast started. Flavors and smells traveling around the table, juices spilling, finger licking, second helpings, and the occasional picky eater being given the dirty look by the parents. I got to live all of that since I come from a Hispanic background and all the "children" lived at home until they got married -that included my two uncles who stayed until their late thirties and then found women that took care of them.

My mother followed her steps. Being more of a modern woman, who eventually left the 24 hour 7 days a week nest to go to work, she still took the time to run her show at the kitchen table. Nowadays, she never stops impressing her friends and family with her creativity and well executed dishes. She never cooks the same thing twice in a month, always improving, always reinventing.

I remember getting home from school to find a three course meal on the table- all fresh ingredients, table cloth down, three rows of silverwear and a big smile on the proud cook's face.

On the weekends, even though we did not have much money, my father used to take us touring the great restaurants in Caracas. By the time I was 11, I was ordering my filet mignon medium with a side of Bernaise sauce and would be very annoyed if they gave me some sort of bechamel sauce in its place.

I was a cheese addict by the time I was two. Queso (cheese in spanish) was the third word I learned after Mom and Dad. I used to follow my mom around and ask for "queso" repeatedly. I have failed every diet I've ever tried because cheese is never on the menu and I once tried desperately to substitute it for fat free versions. I do not even want to go there. I refuse to talk about that terrible and depressing stage of my life.

Ten years ago, after I graduated from Architecture School, I left my country to begin a new adventure. I left my home, my comfort zone, home cooked meals by my mother, family parties, mortgage and debt free life and moved to Florida. I left to find my new self and let go of my old one. Little did I know that in the process of reinventing who I was, by joining the Rat Race and Career frenzie, I found myself back in my grandmother's kitchen, the heart of my family and the core of my Home. But, this time it has been spiced up with my own journey and what I have learned from this beautiful nation and the people that make it unique.

This is who I am. I will write about food, family, friends and places.

I will write about my life. And who knows, maybe I'll write about yours too.

See you around.  Bon appetit!