If any of you have ever visited my Pinterest page, you’ll know how often I pin recipes, whether for a meal or for desserts and snacks.
I love me some food.
And not just any old food. Don’t give me your plain old mashed potatoes and chicken, no flavour added. No, I mean food that takes time to make, and real care. Food that has a delicious taste to it you just can’t get from the freezer.
I grew up in a house that values food like crazy. My parents were fairly poor while my sister and I were toddlers, but even then my mom cooked us delicious healthy food, even if it meant she and my dad couldn’t eat. I doubt I’d be as interested in cooking as I am if it wasn’t for my mom. She is the most talented cook I have ever met. In fact, she’s starting her own business as she gets closer to retirement, and I have no doubt that it will be successful.
I mean, she makes Indian food, which has definitely become more popular in recent years. And not the standard kind you can get at any Indian restaurant. My mom is from Fiji, and Fijian-Indian food is actually quite different. It’s generally a bit healthier, with less reliance on milk products and other fattening, cholesterol-rich ingredients. Butter chicken, for example, is Indian food, but my mom never made it growing up. She never really ate it growing up in Fiji, either. She made chicken curry, lamb curry, duck curry, goat curry, fried potatoes (aloo), fried okra (bhindi), ghobi (cabbage), bhagee (spinach), and more, a lot of which are included in Indian cuisine, but is still made differently. The spices used in Indian food compared to Fijian-Indian is pretty similar, but from what I’ve tried, I think the balance is a little different. And of course, everything was with basmati rice or delicious roti (flatbread), as is all Indian food.
And since Indian food has become really popular in the last few years, I know my mom’s business will do well. The fact that it’s a healthier version of it will only help.
And, thanks to my mother’s generosity, I get to make all her tasty food myself! She’s taught me how to make a lot of it, and how to make her version of other foods like fajitas, enchiladas, stir-fry, and even macaroni and cheese.
I don’t think I really could not become a foodie after growing up eating my mom’s food.
Luckily, G shares this interest. I was really nervous to make Indian food for him — a lot of people just don’t like the spices, and I didn’t expect him to like it, really. I used to avoid making Indian food when I lived in my university residence, just because I didn’t want to bother anyone with the spices. At home, the smell of the food could last quite a while, and I know not everyone likes it. But G loves it, and so I make it all the time. He can even eat almost as spicy as I can!
Anyway, besides Indian food, I love trying new foods. This is another thing I have my parents to thank for. I ate tons of Chinese food growing up, and I even learned how to use chop sticks from the owner of the restaurant we used to frequent. My family used to host exchange students from around the world, and often they would make us food so that we could have the authentic taste of of their nation’s food. I grew up trying lots of different kinds of food, and I never grew out of the desire to learn about other cultures either.
I know a lot of people don’t really care about the food they eat, as long as it’s generally healthy and keeps them full. But sometimes, I just can’t understand how people don’t want to eat good food. I mean, you’re eating it — don’t you want it to be delicious? But everyone’s different, I guess. I just think that in our daily lives, we get so caught up in the routine that we forget to take good care of ourselves. What do we live for, you know? I think taking the time to make a good meal and enjoy it every day is just another way to treat yourself.
Food is also very cultural, and like I say, I love learning about other cultures. I really want to visit Thailand and try authentic Thai food, same with Korea, Japan, France, even England for their pastries. (G is more of a pastry person than I am, but still.) When we go for dinner, we’re trying a taste of another culture, and I love having the ability to try them at home, too.
Unfortunately for you, I won’t be posting any of my mom’s Fijian-Indian recipes here — gotta keep them secret! (I love having a family secret now, seriously.) But I might review restaurants or share recipes I find elsewhere, which I’ve adapted. I figure since it’s such an important thing to me, I might as well incorporate it here.
What’s your opinion about food? Do you have a favourite cuisine? If you don’t find that food all that important, why is that? I’d love to hear from you!