“life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -federico fellini
“people who love to eat are always the best people,” –julia child
all of my memories are associated by place. an inevitable truth when your roots are precarious. if my life story was a poem, the refrain would be my dad’s famous words: this is where you will graduate from high school, or, girls, we need to talk to you. only much more eloquently phrased and peppered in Shakespearian language, with the obligatory “-eths” and “thou’s,” “shan’t’s” and elisions.
illberico pork burger. o..m..g.
more importantly, i would title the poem: chocolate chip cookie kids or tuna mac n’peas Conklin casserole. something ridiculous and obnoxious and obviously incorporating my adoration for food. my memories are evolved around taste & smell, and while traveling (aka desertion) may segregate, nothing unites two beings better than a well cooked meal or homemade dessert.
i still remember the taste of the mini orange muffins my sisters and i consumed during teatime in bermuda. to such an extent, a life goal has been birthed: recreate the zesty flavor.
bermuda saturday’s tasted like banana ice cream at the beach, creamy vanilla bean squished between two chocolate chip cookies, cocoa muffins from Herrington Hundred’s generously sized, potato skins and sunscreen.
cinnamon and vanilla sprinkled on coffee: that’s how i will forever see london.
baguette’s in paris, loaded with cheese, for park picnics and paying to wash my hands in a bathroom because as my dad screamed YOU HAVE TO TOUCH EVERYTHING, DON’T YOU?
florida is donuts–maple, glazed, and a dozen. kansas is root beer floats, boxed mac’n’cheese, fresca and black cherry. texas is tacos, mini cinnamon buns, strawberry lemonade, and biscuits with butter and jam.
in shanghai, my mom used to purchase nuts from the street vendors, a gamble for any stomach and germophobe, yet totally worth the risk. they smelled like sweet potatoes, but looked like deer poop. served warm and toasty and tasted like the holidays, roughly the size of a quarter. and this beauty:
red bean ice dessert from bellagio’s, which i dream of often. it’s pork buns and shanghainese noodles from 1221, so brown and thick, shrimp lettuce wraps and ham subs from WAGAS.
if i could re-eat a meal, it would be the illberico pork burger with white asparagus from a hong kong restaurant called “Flint,” or tuna salad sandwiches from a cafe in Sydney.
i remember when my sister forced food down our throats, it became a game to her to watch us cringe while we gorged on the most ratchet of creations: all airplane food, Australian meatpie’s, japanese sashimi, NSA rhubarb pie (NoSugar Added and dessert are not synonymous, by the way, so stop trying to make sugar-free happen) and an accidental thai burger order.
“eat it! you can’t let that food go to waste,” my older sister instructs, chomping on her chicken fingers from mcdonalds like they were prey, to demonstrate her power.
“NO. The meat is green. that’s not right,” kristi whines. we both laugh and attempt to slyly steal a nugget every-time her gaze is altered. pathetically failing. my stomach flips and i can’t tell if we ordered a vegan patty or if green meat is a thai preparation. begrudgingly, i take a nibble, in hopes of exchanging chew for chicken.
food transports you: favorite cup of coffee–christmas morning, favorite glass of wine: chelsi’s 25th birthday in the Bahamas, best italian meal: new york city date night on E. 63 and 3rd, best pizza: cebu, in the Philippines with my ex-boyfriend, but partially due to starvation, and desperation.
nothing will ever remind me of home the way a from-scratch chocolate chip does, or transcend me to foreign countries, sensual dates, and celebrations, nostalgia. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” has obviously never had my homemade fudge, or no bake truffles and pumpkin bread.
psa: to anyone i ever meet, any land i ever travel to, i will remember you always by cuisine.