Food is a big part of any family. The family meal. Favorite dishes from childhood. Even the broken family living on the street has its food traditions. They are formed by economics and personality, of course, but also time and place.As a child I dearly loved my mom’s cooking. She was good at it. So when I became a mother, I made sure to have a sit down meal with my daughters every night. Always 3 colors on the plate, protein, starch and vegetable. Now that my girls have left and have children of their own I am not as diligent with my healthy eating. But Lora and I do love to cook. We love trying new things. We love to serve guests in our little home. Large events are daunting for both of us, but oh how we love to enjoy good food with friends, family and neighbors at home and at the Café.
Lora grew up in a South Carolina low country Inn and Bed & Breakfast. She worked alongside her mom serving up favored dishes and creating special events ranging from weddings to candlelight suppers.
My mother’s kitchen in Neptune was undeniably aqua in the style of the day. Aqua refrigerator, with matching aqua oven, Formica corner table with built in benches clad in white vinyl with those huge brass colored upholstery tacks. I am 4 years old and watching her roll out pie dough on the counter. It is fall and our area always has an abundance of MacIntosh apples this time of year. After topping off the pie she cuts slits in the top and slips a smidge of butter into each hole. With the leftover dough she teaches me how to make small tarts with cinnamon, sugar & butter. This is a strong memory for me. My mother’s kitchen always contained the basics of any meal. Butter, flour, sugar, milk from the nearby dairy, eggs from the nearby chicken farm. It was 1961. Kennedy had not yet been killed. My brothers had not yet left for the war. My father had a job. Things would change soon enough, but for me, this memory is a big building block in the construction of me.
So let me leave you this beautiful January day with some quotes about food from some people I have come to admire.
“ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, BUT A LITTLE CHOCOLATE NOW AND THEN DOESN’T HURT.”Charles Shultz
“WHAT YOU SEE BEFORE YOU IS THE RESULT OF A LIFETIME OF EATING CHOCOLATE.”Katherine Hepburn
“AFTER A GOOD DINNER, ONE CAN FORGIVE ANYONE, EVEN ONES RELATIONS.”Oscar Wilde
“SEIZE THE MOMENT. REMEMBER ALL THOSE WOMEN ON THE TITANIC WHO WAVED OFF THE DESERT CART.”Erma Bombeck
“THE ONLY TIME TO EAT DIET FOOD IS WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR THE STEAK TO COOK.”Julia Child
“WE MUST HAVE PIE. STRESS CANNOT EXIST IN THE PRESENCE OF PIE.”David Mamet, Boston Marriage