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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Andiamo!!

I look at it as making up for lost time.

As a finicky child of legendary reknown in my family, there were only a few items I deemed palatable in my early years. (sigh...even back then, I was a control freak.) Kraft Macaroni-and-Cheese was one. Ate it every single day for lunch during kindergarten. Followed up with The Year of Liverwurst-on-White-Bread. My parents were concerned. They grew up in Europe during World War II. One did not snub food. Any food. Ever. That concern grew into exasperation as the teen-years approached. My appetite was listless. Food seemed sooo, err, uninteresting. My uncle, an incredible cook who grew up a stone's throw from the Adriatic Coast, moved to the U.S. with my aunt, and became virtually the only person who could get me to eat. I loved everything he made...melt-in-your-mouth risottos, with vegetables, or squid ink (!)...zesty brodettos, chunky with fish and tomatoes and herbs...whole roasted fish, stuffed with lemons and herbs and garlic...there was a piquant, vibrant life to his food that seemed to wake my palate up. My mystified parents rolled their eyes and shook their heads.

College continued the revival. Not dorm food mind you, but the local, small, ethnic family-run restaurants that are found in most any college town. My slumbering taste buds were roused! The salty/crunchy/chewy goodness of that first-ever potsticker... the zing of feta tucked in a flaky spanakopita...lamb vindaloo that would make you break a sweat...it all made me hungry for more.

There were more influences along the way...my mother's subscription to Gourmet helped build a foundation--and introduced me to Laurie Colwin, for which I will be forever grateful!! It also fed another burgeoning interest...travel to far-off places. Harvard Square's Wordsworth bookstore, now gone, was another. I spent hours browsing the overstuffed cookbook shelves, fueling a cookbook addiction that has become, oh, a teensy bit out of control.

The potstickers, the books, the wonders of travel and eating in foreign lands, and throughout our own U.S., along with "a flair for enjoyment" (thank you Dorothy Draper!); it has all shaped a perspective. Which brings me to now, and this blog and a wish to share thoughts about well, yes, food, but travel, books, and life too.

Cheers!

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