... The First Sliver
Food is at the center of everything. For me, I associate food (and often books) with major and minor events in my life. For better or for worse--we all gather around the table. Whether it's fast food while on car trips, fresh croissants in Paris, or pizza on the couch, food is my constant, my comfort, and my connection to different people, places, and cultures. Food is tradition. It is symbolic of who I am, where I came from, and where I'm going.
About nine months ago, I moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Hoboken, New Jersey. Literally, it had always been a dream of mine to move to Manhattan. Okay. I missed the mark by a teeny stretch of water -- at least this means I can still keep dreaming. I had just finished graduate school, and I had (somehow) found a job in publishing six weeks later. I slept on a couch for three weeks and lived out of the same suitcase for six. I wasn't exactly roughing it, but it wasn't necessarily ideal either. I had arrived... and it was in the middle of the sweltering summer. Ah, sweating in train stations has (for sure) become a favorite past time. Scintillating.
I realized that the hardest part about moving wasn’t the $855 (now $925) a month for rent, sweating on the subway, or surviving my first winter. It has been missing Sunday dinners with my parents, my weekly two-hour breakfasts (at least) with my friends at home, and eating Brixx pizza on the couch while watching Nip/Tuck with my sister on Tuesdays. And so, I have found that cooking, eating out, and anything food-ums-ish, has helped me to bring "home" to New Jersey/Manhattan/Brooklyn... and suddenly, things seem to be fitting into place.
New York City is a place like none other. It glitters, it shines, it brings you up, and it inevitably brings you down. Oh well. In defense, I am armed with my Kitchen Aid (mine is red. I swear, you can tell a lot about a person by the color of their Kitchen Aid). And thus food has saved me, and I will cook, and eat, and laugh my way through every single corner of this huge tiny swatch of the world called New Jersey/New York (which I will continue to call it, so get on board) and find my home here with Sunday Fundays (get excited about those), my mother's ancient recipes, authentic Latvian cuisine (why not) from my father's family, and new culinary discoveries along the way. By the way, a Bodega is a little market. Who knew? That was me starting small. A recipe a day makes the whatevers go away.
Food is what memories are made of. Memories are what food is made of. Be inspired, always laugh, and don’t ever take yourself too seriously. So, mix a batch, plant a seed, unhinge the latch. D-lish.