I believe that given the chance,everyone would press pause. We live in a too-fast world; we interface, we tweet, we text. We walk down the street and close ourselves off with iPods. Instead of taking a breather, we grab what's fastest and easiest for lunch. At night we anesthetize ourselves by watching people on TV with awful fake tans yell and hit each other. We forget that rosemary and thyme make everything smell terrific, sugar and spice makes everything nice, and nothing is as pleasurable as the company of those we love.
If I can remind people of the pleasure of herbs and spices, I’d be pleased. If I can convince people that food and cooking are manifestations of love, I’d be thrilled. And when I write something that touches a reader enough to stop, breathe, and boil water even just once a week… I’m fulfilled.
I can’t help but wonder if Pauline and Olga felt the same way. After I started blogging, I discovered that two of my great, great grandmothers wrote about food: Olga wrote about entertaining and Pauline, a journal of her struggles keeping kosher in South Africa during the turn of the last century. I’d always heard that Olga was an endlessly elegant woman and Pauline was an amazing cook and that’s all I knew. But my new found link to these women in my own history makes my journey through blogging that much more important: no longer an indulgence, I’m now continuing a tradition. I’m writing book on entertaining and recording my food journal one blog entry at a time.
As a child, I traveled around the world with my parents. No matter where we were, whether it was a beach shack in Guadeloupe or a three star restaurant in Spain, my father would say: “You don’t have to like it …” and my mother would finish with “ … but you have to try it.” And almost everywhere we went people would say, “That young child is eating that?” Yes, that young child ate squid ink pasta at five, calamari a la plancha at six, raw fish at about seven,and sweetbreads at eight. The best, however, was when a four-year-old me declared that the only egg I ever intended to eat again, was caviar.
But after a long day at work, followed by a longcommute on the subway, am I really going to make cayenne-spiced, bacon-wrapped bonbons, or suggest that my readers do? No, probably not. I share recipes with my readers that I hope they will actually be inspired to make. (Hmm,cayenne-spiced, bacon-wrapped bonbons…)
I see my blog as a love letter: to my parents for encouraging me to become who I am; to my friends for laughing with me and asking for seconds; to my readers, all of whom I would invite over to dinner in a heartbeat; and finally, to my husband, without whom this blog would be a boring, unattractive, anemic thing.
I cook, I write, I live, and love in Brooklyn. And that’s not just somewell-alliterated sentence; it’s a truth that I hold onto dearly. With this blog, I invite people into my kitchen to share my life. I hope my readers find that moment to pause and delight in the people and foods around them.
Somewhere, Olga and Pauline are setting a table and kneading dough. They’re with me, nodding in approval, as I record my own culinary history and share it with the world.