I have a propensity to blog about food a bit more often than other topics. I guess that you are supposed to write what you know so it is likely that my mediocre ramblings about Christmas candy and bread bowls is as good as it will get. Sorry guys. I think, though, that another reason I use food as a topic is because, like smells, food has a way of being nostalgic. If you have read even just a few of my posts you probably know I am a perpetual kid so this kind of makes sense.
The best food related memories I have are not in the eating but in the preparing of food as a kid with my family. The worst memories are things like always forgetting to shake my Yoo-Hoo and feeling sad when I had gotten every last bit of cheese off the red handi-snack stick. I guess the emotional tie is as evident as ever in the term comfort food.
Preparing food always brought us together as a family. We didn’t eat out very often and even when we did, I didn’t consider a restaurant fancy unless I got to choose biscuits or cornbread. Most of the time mom would cook but when everyone pitched in, we made more than dinner. We made memories.
I like that I get to experience that with my family now and if I had to name our tradition it would be called pizza soup. You see, my wife’s family used to make pizza together, before we had kids we would make it together, and now it is a full blown 2 on 2 pizza competition. At the risk of some horrible pun, it is rather cheesy and like something you would expect to see on a poorly written sit-com. That doesn’t matter though, at the end of each competition when the pizzas go into the oven we split up the remaining sauce, cheese, and toppings into tiny ramikens and enjoy our amuse bouche of pizza soup. It isn’t really about the pizza or the dinner at all but about the laughter and the giggles and the occasional sauce smeared on daddy’s nose that make pizza soup totally sweet.
I Can Do That
I am a man. As a man, I am impressed by very little. Or at the very least, I can’t let on that I am impressed. This personality trait often bubbles to the surface in the kitchen. I like to think that I can handle my own in the kitchen and at times I cook pretty well. The problem is that sometimes I may talk a bit too big of a game. I am not one to brag but every time I start to make hamburger helper I expect Bobby Flay to walk in and ask if I am ready for a throw down. I like to cook and you can bank on the fact that anytime macaroni and cheese is made in our house, I will be eating the last 3 bites from the pot standing by the stove relishing in each lukewarm mouthful of salty regret.
Sometimes we watch cooking shows and I never shy away from saying that something doesn’t look that hard or that I could do it. I remember saying something similar once about a show on food trucks. The great part about making ridiculous assumptions about that kind of thing is that I will never actually try to start a food truck and as long as it looms in uncertainty I can claim victory. In actuality, if I started a food truck it would probably be known as that weird guy trying to sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the trunk of his 97 Corolla.
I like to dream of being on a show like Top Chef and while I do have some background in restaurants and a few signature dishes, I think the reality might be something like this:
I proudly walk in with my Ron Popeil 6 star cutlery and wastes the first 3 minutes of the challenge arranging all of the knives in the butcher block that was a free gift because I ordered within the 20 minute window on the commercial. Not phased by the equipment the other chefs are using, I set out to the pantry wondering where they have hidden all of the box dinners. With time quickly ticking bye I overcome the panic, find my center, and go about my culinary business. At the judges table, I step up and trying not to stare at Padma Lackshmi I announce, “today I have prepared for you cheese 3 ways. grilled, toast, and mac’n. Bon appetit.”
So maybe I over sell myself a bit and hide in the safety that some of my claims will never be tested but you can’t blame a guy for dreaming. Who knows, maybe making that cinnamon toast with chili powder that one time really was a fluke and I am better at this than I think. I may make a serious pot of white chili but the hollow braggadocios claims of my kitchen prowess are totally weak.
July 29th, 2012 at 5:10 pm
Food always an excellent choice! Well done, sir! Keep cooking and making memories.
July 25th, 2012 at 9:56 am
Oh man, I haven’t thought of Handi snacks in probably 15 years. Man I loved those things. But cinnamon toast with chili powder? Is that really good?
July 23rd, 2012 at 12:30 pm
nice post 😀
July 19th, 2012 at 8:31 pm
Jennifer said it perfectly, if you can’t cook these days you are so ‘out’. Cooking shows here in Oz have turned normal people who can make a mean grilled cheese into cooking fiends who think that they deserve a gig in a top eatery!
July 18th, 2012 at 5:16 am
ok, gonna go out on a limb and comment on another tangent…
Hubby was reading the paper and commented about how much food was ‘in’, half the paper was food articles, recipes, celebrity chef articles etc etc. i jsut said it made it even harder these days for young people to find a mate. Never mind being too fat, or snobby, or a bogan heaven forbid. It’ll be about who can cook the best. No good in the kitchen.. you’re out the door.
Love the post, mac’n’cheese.Outta the pot, yuuum. and the pizza soup. I was so thinking of soup with pizzas, or some other weird concoction. Left over toppings… nice!
July 18th, 2012 at 9:12 am
You are so right that cooking and food are more focal now than ever. It is a good thing that our girls are learning to cook at such a young age. Always appreciate you reading and joining in. Thanks Jen.
July 18th, 2012 at 10:58 pm
always a pleasure to read you… (?!) 😀
July 17th, 2012 at 9:28 pm
Awesome. The trend emerging here, as I read your posts, is that I walk away with great ideas – the amily pizza throwdown in this case. Thanks!
July 17th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
I love the pizza soup idea and really want to try it out now! I’m sure it’s a hit.
And if you feel like sharing any awesome recipes with us, I won’t complain! 🙂
July 18th, 2012 at 9:09 am
Thanks Audrey, I have thinking about developing my own cooking show called 3 minute meals. It is really just me and a microwave and a few boxes of hot pockets and frozen burritos.
July 17th, 2012 at 8:23 pm
When I saw the title of your post I had visions of soup with little tiny miniature pizzas floating in it. I’m so disappointed.
But I do love your family tradition of pizza soup. That’s the kind of thing your kids will remember many years from now. And I too am familiar with that lukewarm, salty regret over the mac ‘n’ cheese pot. I know it well.
July 18th, 2012 at 9:08 am
mmmmm miniature pizzas, you may be on to something MW.
July 17th, 2012 at 7:45 pm
The deeper I got into the reading this post the louder the chants in my head for Master Chef grew. Will I see you on it next year making Gordon Ramsay weep from cheesy goodness?
July 18th, 2012 at 9:07 am
haha, i don’t think I season my food with enough anger for Ramsay to take notice. Thanks for reading.
July 17th, 2012 at 7:16 pm
Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun in the kitchen. That’s awesome.
You may not believe it, but I totally bragged just last evening about being “ready to open a food truck”!! I was marinating steak to grill for Scott and I, boiling sweet corn for all of us, and breading and making fresh chicken tenders for the kids, all at once. Bam! I thought I was all that, for sure!
July 17th, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Sounds way better than the PBJ thing. Man that dinner sounds awesome!
July 17th, 2012 at 8:17 pm
Thanks! It’s baby steps, but I’m trying to get the boys away from so much frozen food 😉
July 17th, 2012 at 6:54 pm
You will win Top Chef and I will win Chopped and we will be champions on the Wheaties box together (posed holding up #1 index fingers wearing our Cheetos gloves that you patented)! Suhweeeet!
July 17th, 2012 at 7:45 pm
Today’s secret ingredient is CHEETOS! A la Cuisine!
July 17th, 2012 at 6:41 pm
If you become that weird guy trying to sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the trunk of his 97 Corolla, can I come with you? We can travel and go to hippy concerts and serve over priced PBJs to stoned and drunk people. We can class it up and take my jetta if you want.
July 17th, 2012 at 7:42 pm
That sounds rad, as long as I can get the truck nuts off my Toyota and hang them from the Jetta.
July 17th, 2012 at 10:48 pm
oh, well, perhaps we can compromise there….
July 17th, 2012 at 5:07 pm
Hey, you haven’t died yet…I, even though I’m a mother, have to say some of our best memories were cooking with the kids. It was messy, but nobody cared. And they all grew up to be quite accomplished cooks. So, you never know. Keep up the fun and good times!
July 18th, 2012 at 9:06 am
Thanks Laurie, we do have a good time and we even learn a few things along the way.
July 17th, 2012 at 4:55 pm
I recently dscovered PB & J in an american style diner over here. It was a revelation and in a totally good way. Loved the inner angst about cooking and overselling yourself – enjoyed this post.
July 18th, 2012 at 9:05 am
Thanks so much and congratulations on your new discovery.
July 18th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
Have you ever tried Marmite? Just saying…..
July 17th, 2012 at 4:51 pm
The pizza soup tradition sounds fun.
And you’re so right. As a guy, you’re expected to be impressed by very few things. Or you aren’t cool. Everything you see, you need to have the I can top that expression. And whatever you accomplish, you can never let on how hard you worked at it. Always effortless—whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich or brain surgery.
July 18th, 2012 at 9:04 am
You know exactly what i am talking about. No matter how difficult it may be, make it look easy. Thanks for stopping by to read. I appreciate it.
July 17th, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Love it, as usual. Favorite line: I am not one to brag but every time I start to make hamburger helper I expect Bobby Flay to walk in and ask if I am ready for a throw down. That is tweetable!
BTW – I had a college friend who made a good living with a gourmet peanut butter and jelly stand in a mall – don’t be dissing on PB and J!
Thanks for the giggle as always.
July 18th, 2012 at 9:03 am
I kid because I love. PBJ is and will always be an all time favorite for me. Thanks for reading I appreciate you being here.