Recently I was reading a magazine and came across an add for a chocolate fondue fountain. My first thought was "Who on earth would buy one of those?". A local chocolatier in town has one but other than that I can't see spending money on something that trendy. I'm not big into food trends at all unless it's the "everything old is new again" type of trend.
I try to stay up on "what's hot" and "what's not" for the sake of any potential clients but other than that, I don't follow trends myself. Mostly because they are just that, trendy, which just means that all too soon they'll fizzle and not be heard from again for 20 or 30 years (how many of you recall getting a fondue pot for your wedding?)
I'd love to be one of these hip new young chefs armed with current fads and ready to take on the culinary world. It just isn't me though. I find a classic baked macaroni and cheese every bit as satisfying as any funky eclectic new dish~probably more satisfying.
Food isn't just a building block to me, detached and meaningless, it has a deep emotional rooting for me and everything I make is infused with love and care, not just for the individual it was made for but for the food it is made from as well. I don't want to make a dish simply because "Hey wow, that looks cool!".
Don't get me wrong, food properly plated is a lovely thing because we really do eat first with our eyes. But if that food, plated so expertly, isn't fulfilling, I see no point in having made it to begin with. I think one can tell which dishes have been made with love and which have been made with "wow" in mind.
This is one of my most treasured "full of love" recipes:
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups butter-softened
8 oz. cream cheese-softened
3 cups Sugar
3 Cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Grease and floured a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Set aside.
Cream the butter and cream cheese, gradually adding sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Add flour and salt, stirring until combined. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
Your post today reminded me of my grandma who kept a delicious pound cake in her recipe repertoire. She taught us how to slice it very thinly and we savored each bite. I can still smell my grandma's hands--cucumber and tomatoes and butter all mixed up together!
"Infused with love" - I like the way you think and write, Anne!
Food can elicit a very special, loving response. My Grandma used to make meatballs for us grandchildren all the time when we were little. I've never had them made the same way other than when she made them. I finally asked her a couple of years ago for the recipe because I still love them, and they always make me think of her. I wanted to be able to make them even after she was no longer with us. (It's one of those recipes that doesn't have measurements for half the ingredients.) :) I'm happy to say Grandma is still going strong, and every time I make those meatballs for my family I think of her! Infused with love ... you bet!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I find it extremely serendipitous that I just purchased one of those huge blocks of cream cheese from Costco. I can't wait.
About trends, I feel the same way about trendy books. Although I love the fact that Oprah has the everyday woman trading in her Harlequin for the book du jour, I have to admit I cringe every time I--only out of sheer desperation--resort to purchasing one of my favorite classics with an "Oprah Book" label splashed across the cover. I almost have to drag myself to the check-out line. I want it to be known to the world that I knew and loved this book BEFORE Oprah put her stamp of approval on it (probably before Oprah even read it). I chose to read it--usually time and time again--because I have good taste, not because the Goddess of the Afternoon Talk Show told me to.
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