Growing up in Richmond, I recall very little pasta happening in either of my parents' kitchens, except maybe pasta salad. I also don't remember going out for much Italian food back then. I'm sure there was spaghetti and meatballs when I had dinner at my friends' houses, but – and I could be wrong – I don't think I ever saw it on my dining room table(s). That's weird, right? I mean, I don't even think we did lasagna, for crying out loud. It's a miracle I turned out alright.
This is a first here at F for Food, but that last post inspired me to do it.
Recently, as I glanced across my vast cookbook collection, at all of the words and images that inspire me daily in the kitchen, I thought I might just pass some of that inspiration along to you. I recently attended an event in which Michael Psilakis did a cooking demonstration. While he showed us how to make Greek sliders, he spoke of his inspiration, his father, who always encouraged him to follow what he loved. Much like Chef Psilakis, I have been lucky enough to have two parents that have always fostered my creativity. No matter what.
Yes, we have all heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And, on a base level and on the high-road level, I suppose it is. But, there is a fine line between imitation and inspiration. Imitation versus inspiration is a perennial discussion in the art world and other worlds as well. And, it is such valid dialogue.
While I was certainly no angel as a child, next to my childhood friend, Ben, I was definitely perceived as one. But he was a little boy and I was merely a little tomboy. Ben got into far more trouble than I ever did; invariably he would get caught. I would often get caught but, clearly, far less. Most of the Ben stories I have heard have come from our parents and these stories are based on incidents that took place circa the mid-1980's.
It all started in the second grade at John B. Cary Elementary School. Our class put on a school play. It was a production of Close Encounters of The Food Kind. Spencer was the Swiss cheese, Kelly was the Riboflavin, Laura was the fish, and me, I was the alien visitor narrator. I'll never forget my closing lines, “So, remember folks, when you want a snack that's nutritious and dandy, have a carrot instead of candy. Vegetables, fruit, bread and meat; these are the healthy things to eat. It's time to go, and now you know about the good things that make you grow.”