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Saturday, November 8, 2008

How the other half eats......

....the other half that doesn't think that their character is measured by how much they slave in the kitchen.....

I'll admit it, I'm a food snob, a foodie and a meal time martyr. Blame it on my mother. In the 14 years that I had the pleasure of her mothering, she brain washed me into believing that anything that comes in a can is just bad, if you serve frozen food it's because you must not be able to cook/did not take the time to learn how to cook for your family/it's just bad mothering and anyone who gets take out for their family mustn't love them as much as she loved us.

My mother educated us on the fine art of pretending you are eating food at someone else's house that may have come from a can or from the freezer or did not meet her standards. She marched us out of a fancy restaurant because she said her children would not eat the garbage they served there. And, she threw an entire bag of food (from the first McDonald's in our area) out the car window and into the parking lot because she was horrified by the look of the burgers. Yes, my mother talked about women who served their families tomatoe sauce from jars and she thought it was sinful that mothers preferred to go to the local pizza shop for Lenten Friday meals. She could not understand why they would not make their own pizza! She railed against salad dressings in a bottle and only allowed certain condiments in our house--ketchup and pickles to be exact. During that time, she never considered herself a food snob or a foodie or anything like that. She was just being a good mother and wife. Which she was....despite her food snob ways....

Now, I'm not saying that I am anything like my mother. But, how could I help but not be deeply influenced by her ways? And, let's be honest--she was a good cook. Who would not be influenced by such wonderful food? In fact, she and all of her sisters and her mother--my Nana--were excellent cooks. So, I was always around good, delicious and lovingly prepared foods. Even after my mother passed away, my aunts make sure we ate well and that I learned how to cook good--in the way of the DiPippa's. My mother's entire Italian family took great pride in the culinary skills that they learned beside their beloved mama as part of their female upbringing (a girl has to know how to cook!) and they considered it their duty to make sure their daughters inherited the same.

So....although my kitchen pantry and freezer conents probably makes my beloved mom turn over in her grave once a week and my feelings on food are light years away from my mother's,--there's still that part of me that is very much Antoinette DiPippa Carr's daughter. I just can't NOT make a big deal about food and menus and ingredients and recipes and cooking. If I was really being honest--I would tell you that a good meal takes time--from the planning to the shopping at specific stores to the prepation to the presentation. And, I'd tell you that there is no way you could have a special meal without a lot of work.
Well......I have been proven wrong. At least this time....
A quick, spur-of-the-monent trip to Trader Joe's yesterday during my lunch hour may have converted me....for the moment.
Last night, we had a lovely, delicious, relaxing gourmet meal complete with candles and wine.....courtesy of prepared food, frozen food, food from a bag and food from a carton. And, I wasn't too tired to enjoy the rest of a wonderful Friday evening at the end of a very long week.....
Seafood Cioppino (frozen)
Flatbread Pizza with spinach, sundried tomatoes and ricotta salata (prepared)
Greek Yogurt (carton) drizzled with honey (my idea!) and Pumpkin Granola (from a bag)

Wish you could have joined us mom......

3 comments:

Kathy said...

I absolutely love Trader Joe's. Unfortunately, or maybe it's fortunate the closest one is an hour away. When I do go there I come home with several bags full of goodies. I am hoping someday they will open one in my home town. Enjoy your weekend.

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Yeah, my mother is a waayyy better cook than I am. But, that's all she does. Cook and Bake. I get food on the table, but I do other things, decorate, redo furniture, sew, knit, things she never did or wanted to do. So, it's all in how one wants to spend their time I guess.

I adore Trader Joes. We have one about 1/2 hour away and I try to get there when I can too.

Blessings,

Sher

Jody V said...

Judi -

I love the TV show on the Food Network Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. 70% store bought and 30% fresh. Works for me!!! Hope you are enjoying your Diva weekend!

Jody