Sunday, September 19, 2010
Lunch was delish and nap time is on the way! To me, there is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than enjoying a leisurely homemade lunch with my family around the dining room table and then everyone heading to their own little ‘nest’ to enjoy a long nap and dream of my perfect key lime pie. It’s perfection. Today we had peach pecan glazed chicken breasts on the grill with a side salad and roasted carrots. Here is where you normally expect me to go into great foodie detail about the pros or cons of the meal and how I slipped on the carrots my 1 year old son launched across the room while stepping over fighter jets and monster trucks in hopes to put the leftovers in the frig, but today’s post will be a bit different.
I’ve entered a contest! I’m tackling a new adventure with my friends at Foodbuzz by entering Project Food Blog – a 12 week contest that whittles approximately 2000 talented food bloggers down to one and grants them a super fabulous monetary and literary prize. I’m perched on the edge of my cast iron skillet with whisk and wooden spoon in hand, waiting in anticipation to see how this all pans out.
My first job is to post about what defines me as a blogger and why I should be the next Food Blog Star. I have a two word answer for this: Heritage and Humor. My roots are steeped in culinary tradition and laughter. From the time I could sit up, my mother had me in the kitchen at her feet stirring uncooked pasta in a saucepan while she fixed meal after meal that dazzled and delighted. She is truly my inspiration and I have my cooking ability from her patience and determination. She taught me the way around the kitchen and out of her loving influence there grew in me a desire to make each meal exceptional…for me and those whose lives I touched. She learned the same way from her mother, and her mother’s mother the same – tracing back our roots as Italian immigrants who have a carefully guarded family marinara and meatball recipe that is only passed on to the next generation when a life event occurs. I didn’t get the recipe until I gave birth to my first child and it was on maternity leave that mom taught me the secrets to making the perfect meatball.
I am a very visual person and learn by watching. I watched cooking shows early on in between episodes of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers and to this day, it’s rare you won’t find the Food Network blaring in the living room and my nose in a cooking magazine or book (granted this is in between changing a diaper, making a lunch or dinner, clipping coupons, singing in the church choir, doing the laundry and working full time – but who’s keeping track? That’s life!).
I love my family, and growing up there was always laughter in my house that still resounds into my marriage and with my children. We love to laugh! I laugh at the ups, downs and the in betweens. I laugh at the mishaps that I encounter weekly and I choose to use those over-salted, burnt, under cooked and rotten times to live, learn and laugh. It’s out of these times that I grow as a person and am challenged to try harder and rise above frozen chicken nuggets to conquer the blue cheese soufflé.
I realize I’m not the only person to grace the world of good cooking – there are many amazing people out there whom I deeply admire and respect, who know a lot more than I and are a lot savvier at culinary photography. But I have a niche of being real. I’m the mom next door who bakes cookies for her son’s special day at school, makes rice krispy treats for the firemen in honor of 9/11, is among the first at church to be called on to help fix a meal for a hurting family experiencing bereavement and can’t wait to fix you the world’s best pot roast if you have a baby. In the midst of all of this, I’ll forget the marshmallows and have to run back to the grocery store yet again, realize the meat didn’t unthaw for dinner in time to make Beef Bourguignon and the company I’m trying to impress will just have to understand that the napkins were used to mop up the berry smoothie that my son spilled moments before they arrived and so paper towels will simply have to do.
It’s a contest and it’s my little story of life. I love it, and no matter how far I make it, I’ll enjoy each bite and look forward to you joining me in the journey.