Soul Food

Asking me to pick what food touched my soul this year is like asking me to pick my favorite child. It's really quite impossible, seeing as how I do so dearly love food.

So like so many other of the Reverb10 prompts, I'm just not going to choose, but rather talk about memorable foods from the year.

I posted earlier in the summer about one of my favorite summer treats, pizza on the grill. Something about the combination of tomato-sauce tanginess and the sweet flavor of corn and the slight salt of the dough just zings all of my taste buds alive. Yum.

We celebrated our anniversary in July at our usual anniversary haunt, Geja's Fondue in Chicago. True story, one year on our anniversary the PBS show Check Please! was filming there, and so we're in an episode of Check Please! As a thank-you (the crew was all over the section of the restaurant we were sitting in, though it wasn't a big deal) they bought us a bottle of wine, which was just lovely. We look forward to this dinner all year and it's become a nice touchstone for us. We've even started writing in a notebook each year (after me having kept track of little sticky notes and scraps of paper that we unearthed from the bottom of my purse to write on for years) to write down our goals, wishes, dreams. It's a nice meal and a nice tradition and I look forward to it for 2011 already.

Another positive food memory/association for the year is my subscription to the Six O'Clock Scramble, a newsletter put out by Aviva Goldfarb and crew that is a fabulous way to plan meals for a busy life. Each Wednesday you get an email newsletter with five dinner recipes (with side dish suggestions) and a grocery list sorted by staples and required items for the menu for the week. You can customize your menu plan by going to the website and regenerating the grocery list. It's fantastic, and seriously - we haven't had a bad recipe from the scramble yet. When my husband, who does not live for food (he's one of those "food as fuel" guys, little bit aggravating now that you mention it...) hears that the meal for the evening is a scramble meal, he always perks up. That's saying something! (Psst - if you read up on the Scramble and want to give it a try, send me a message, I can hook you up with a discount coupon!)

Of course just coming off Christmas right now, another positive association is the process of making cookies with family. We started a semi-tradition back when I was pregnant with Anastasia and we first moved out here to the Great Suburban Wilderness (funny story: that day was the first and only day our dead-end street was closed due to a house fire at the first lot going into the neighborhood, so my sister had to park in back on a street that doesn't really permit parking, and walk her 6 month old in through the back yard, then go back for the mixer and other gear she had brought to my house. We live on country lots, so this was no small feat for her, and I being 9+ months pregnant at the time was NO help, other than to coo at the 6 month old nephew!)

Anastasia and nana making cookies 12_2010 So we've been making cookies here at my house on and off through the years - I have a fantastic kitchen that has plenty of counter space until you start filling it with cookies, dough, dough in-progress, cookies in-progress, frosting, and all the crapola that I and my family seem to need to keep up on the counter even though all the children are long since out of the phase of digging inappropriately in mommy's purse and coloring their whole head in her Lancome lipstick.

In fact, my family departed a few days ago (phew, I mean I miss them so!) but I still have cookie dough in my fridge (thanks to the aforementioned sister whose 6 month old is now seven and a half and chest-high on me, and her mixer which is now getting on quite a bit in years.) So tonight I rolled out a few more of the Hershey's Kiss Cookies (no, not peanut blossoms. That's some other weird cookie that supposedly looks like the ones we make. We make Hershey's Kiss Cookies, though. So there.) Mmmm.

On that happy note, I best go...check them for poison one more time before putting them in containers...


I write on Suburban (In)sanity. I have two kids, two cats, a dog, a husband and a minivan. I live in the suburbs now and try to stay sane. Some days, I succeed.

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