Friday, October 14, 2005

I was talking to an instructor who teaches at my facility from time to time about how sad we where that we are in the last week of tomato season. You all know that there is nothing like that first beckon of summer, when you are presented with the sweet, acidic, salty scent of a vine ripe tomato and the silky skin tingles your hands with its fine, dusty hairs. I have so many memories of my grandparents kitchen being flooded with Beefsteak tomatoes and eating them with nearly every meal. To this day my favorite sandwich is plain Beefsteak tomato on Pyrenees Sourdough bread and slathered with Best Foods mayo, salt and pepper. Throw in some ice cold tea and you've got yourself a nice fat stack of summertime.

I love the summer and everything that entails: BBQ's, swimming pools, tan skin, fireworks and a tall cold one to wash it all down. As summer lulls away into autumn, so does the bounty of wonderful produce that comes with it. Soon we will be carving pumpkins and warming ourselves up with a hot bowl of Grandma's signature beef stew. Before we know it, we will awaken abruptly from turkey coma and hop to making tamales and wrapping gifts. The end of summer is just a precursor to the flood of holiday hustle and bustle that all of us hate to love. So today I will sit back, relax and soak up the last warm rays of sunshine, slice up a couple a 'maters and take it all in with a tall cold one.

Friday, October 07, 2005

If you know anything about me, you already know that there are two things in this world that I love, I mean LOVE: Family and food. Both of the two you must have in your life for survival. Overindulgence in either of the two can lead to death (okay, maybe not death but EXTREME discomfort). Let me begin with my Mother, a truly amazing woman from whom I received my great love for the kitchen. My earliest memories are being by my Mother's side as she prepared meals for our friends and family.

I even have a scar in the middle of my forehead from when I was standing behind her as a toddler while she was taking out a cast iron skillet from the oven and BAM! Behold, My First Kitchen Scar. I suppose this was a test to see if I could handle myself like a pro’ (Obviously Ma’ doesn’t mess around!). After I came out of a coma, she promoted me to sous chef of the household and I was assigned with the prestigious tasks of grating cheese, peeling potatoes, and picking out the June Bugs from the Spanish rice. Most importantly, I learned how she made all the wonderful dishes that came out of her kitchen and have made her famous among friends and family: Chile Verde, Lasagna and Chicken Deván to name a few. The most important thing is that she made them with love and has passed this love on to me. Here's to you Mom, Bon Appétit!