Growing up with a military dad I don’t think that has affected my belief that we all should stand at attention and salute our military past, present, future and maybe most importantly our lost. With all of the parties, sales and craziness of the long holiday weekend stop and cook for a vet, or better yet, help at a VA, a neighbor or just stop and pay attention. As i add years to my resume I grow evermore aware that the life I live and the way I choose to live it was bought and paid for daily by our service men and women. I also get a better sense of purpose when actually taking the time to sit and listen, ask respectful questions and learn, not from a textbook but from the prideful stories of the few, the brave and the strong. So over this long holiday weekend invite a vet to your cookout, stop and salute a passing vet, shank their hand or prosthetic and thank them, hell you should hug them, for the ability to have a long weekend filled with all the stuff that does not matter this memorial day weekend. Attention! Salute! At ease men, Thank you!
This weekend we tip our toques to our moms. There are the dads, aunts and grandmas that do that get credit for introducing us chefs and foodies to our passions, but the lion’s share go to Mom.
If your early childhood was anything like mine your mom was your personal dishwasher, prep person, encouraging voice, and guinea pig. And she always had an encouraging word to say no matter what the dish looked like or tasted. So this weekend tip your toque, bake a cake and make your moms say “WOW”, and also clean up.
Flowers are nice, but give me a good bunch of pencil sized asparagus, morel mushrooms, ramps and all of the other wonderful spring forage items. Some say that spring arrives when the daffodils bloom, me I like the edible crescendo that starts with maple syrup and keeps growing till all a sudden you can stop buying produce at the grocery store. When the precipitation turns from flakes to April showers they bring a ground swell of goodness. So get outside and taste the bounty to be had.
Have you ever stood in-front of the cabinets, refrigerator, pantry and stare into the abyss wondering what am I going to make for dinner? Many of us have excluding the proficient ones of us who diligently write weekly menus that correlate to coupons in the local paper and have it down to a science. Well not I, how the hell am I suppose to know what I am hungry for on Friday on Sunday afternoon? I have always slightly admired individuals who could script their lives like that but I am too, what I like to call, a lighting strike thinker. As an example you walk past the fish counter and the just got freshly delivered striped bass and it looks amazing which the idea hits you like lighting to do an orange tarragon cream sauce with mushroom risotto and the eggplant look great this week blam lighting you see eggplant parmesan in your families’ future. How does the instant creative spark come into play with the neat list? No matter how you get there I applaud you all for taking the time to make it at home with love. As always making a meal nightly, from a list or a storm cloud called your brain.
Cold crisp air, cracking of leaves and the smell of charcoal in a grill. Really, does it get any better then that? Maybe except when the foods being grilled are pulled off the grill and enjoyed.
To truly claim the title of “king of the grill” you need to use the grill for more then just burgers and steaks. Smoke a chicken, roast a pork loin, do a clam bake think outside the box, which reminds me bake a pizza from scratch out on the grill you will never go back inside the oven. So grab a sweater your tongs and a bag of charcoal and get out and have fun and truly taste the season.
If food is made from ingredients and with love and memories are loving thought of the past it makes great sense to say memories are love of food. When is the last time you made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and did not think of your mom, grandma, dad or a childhood friend? What makes what better? The snack to bring back a memory or the memory that the snack brought back? That might be one of the unsolvable rhymes of life but at least this unsolvable comes with a wonderful aroma, taste and hopefully a shared smile.