Pungent cheese pocked with mold, sweet heirloom tomatoes that look like malformed newborn babies, freshly baked bread that requires tearing rather than cutting, deep fried squid tentacles and zucchini flowers, and salty sheets of prosciutto are among my favorite savories to devour. They remind me of growing up in the kitchen. My mother literally raised me on a tile floor surrounded by dark brown particle board and wallpaper of pea green and mustard yellow. My passion for food was innate and growing up I was sure that simply watching my mother at play all those years would give me everything I needed to make anything edible...incredible. As soon as I advanced to the formica countertop I was making absolute shit.
I thought I was my mother in the kitchen, but it took me years to master only some of her infinite skills. It was probably not until my early twenties when I felt comfortable with the basics--frying eggs, boiling rice, sauteeing vegetables--and I had learned to be patient with myself. In other words: allow myself to make mistakes and many I did. Just know that it's the most freeing experience...my biggest fuck-up was worrying too much what other people would think of my food and ultimately myself. Strange to make such a connection? I don't think so. I think food is very telling of the kind of person you are. As soon as I would dismiss my concerns as petty insecurities--which has not happened until recently--I was happy and made the best food I've ever eaten in my life. And yes...my mother would approve...not that I care. I'm kidding.