Having explored my genetic, or at least genealogical, foodie roots, it's time to turn our eyes to the present. Well, the recent past, anyway. My past. Actually, I've talked a little about my foodie roots, before, but not in such a contemplative way.
The eating part is pretty easy to account for. I'm a human. We eat stuff.
As I've said before, my mom is a good cook. She's not a gourmet chef or anything, but she's pretty solid when it comes to feeding her family. I remember many mornings as a child that I'd stumble from my bedroom into the kitchen to find that my mother had been up for some time, cooking eggs, oatmeal, and toast for my me and my father. I was a typical kid, holding out for the cold cereal.
Before leaving for school, she'd pack my “Kid Power” lunch box with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a pudding cup, bag of chips, or some other side. Don't forget the thermos full of milk. After a while, she made me give up the packed lunch for school lunch. I remember arguing with her over that, but it didn't matter. I had no choice. She was the new “lunch lady.”
When did taste start to matter? I think part of it may have been my fascination with James Bond.
One of the few interests my father and I shared was a love of James Bond movies. Bond had it all. Fast cars, beautiful women, cool gadgets and great taste in everything. He wore the best suits, ate the best food, drank the best wines and killed people all in the name of serving his country, and the world.
Bond is a powerful icon to a young boy. I wasn't one of the popular crowd. I was lousy at sports. My prospects of getting a date as a teenager looked bleak. I had to take a different tactic. I had to be suave and sophisticated like Bond.
Okay, I honestly don't know if it had anything to do with James Bond and getting dates or not. It just seems like as good a reason as any. I've certainly used food to impress women.
Whatever the reason, I started paying attention to the food I ate. I started paying attention to the taste. I started wondering how spices and herbs worked to enhance food. I started cooking.
But that's a story for another day.
Yes, that is a picture of me. It's about 30 years old, though. I've changed a bit in 30 years. :)