This is my mantra, and while it may border on a bit, well for lack of another word, pretentious, I am not going to apologize for that. I think, it is just good common sense. Food and wine brings us around the table with friends, family, lovers, associates, and the new acquaintances; it makes us sit still among all the chaos; it offers repose, pleasure, and calm . It demands thought, so while some may argue otherwise, I must insist that we eat, drink, and think. What, then, should we think about?
Well, that is the subjective part, and perhaps this is why we continue to eat and drink and imagine our next meal. By the collective we, I mean all of you out there that love to eat and drink, to share food and wine with others, who are blogging about it right now, and may even be cooking or thinking about what your next meal will be at the same time. You know who you are, you are probably eating something right now, or at the very least, sipping on a fabulous little pinot that you picked up today at your favorite wine shop. In a world that is increasingly technological (and, yes, I know the irony of my impending comment), food and wine remain a tactile, sensory experience shared in communication with others. It is perhaps the single most multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural experience I can think of, and it cannot be completed on a computer, though we may find inspiration and information there. And, so I begin my blog about my experience of thinking about food and wine.
I begin where all knowledge begins, in my own historical moments of food appreciation; my family.
See below, Grandma Rose. In this photo taken earlier this year, she is in her nineties (fear not Grandma, the actual number is safe with me), and that’s right, she is rolling out fresh pasta for her raviolis. The pasta is thin, but not light, more substantial, something you can really bite into, and the ricotta filling is not infused with some crazy herbs from the farm, it is just simply whole milk ricotta, finely grated parmesan, an egg and some salt and pepper…that is it. The ravs are the size of your hand, but you always eat two…okay, who am I kidding, I always eat three. My Dad, usually goes for four,then regrets it, but which self-respecting Italian American can say no when his mother tells him to eat more?
The sauce is as simple as the pasta, just olive oil, canned tomatoes and some garlic salt. Today, I make a sauce of roasted heirloom tomatoes, roasted in four fingers of the best olive oil, plus gras, anchovie paste and fresh garlic cloves, seasoned at the very last moment with lost of fresh basil and flat leaf parsley-- all from the local farmer's market, but my grandmother’s sauce is way better!
Grandma Rose is just one of the amazing women who inspired me to feed…that’s right, I love to cook, but really, it is all about the pleasure of feeding those I love.
This is the way that food becomes spiritual, it is in many ways a ritual of nurturing our loved ones, one bite at a time. And, adding wine is the spiritual elixir…more on that later.
Thank you Grandma Rose, for your love and inspiration!
What or who inspires you to eat, drink, and think?