Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Food memories, courtesy of Jimmy

Scrum-diddly lunch of sauteed mushrooms and pesto pasta. Sauteed mushrooms have got to be one of my absolute favorites. My dad was the first one to show them to me. His palate is particularly sophisticated. He knows what's good, whether it's the shmanciest thing on the menu, or just something simple like fried-green-tomatoes. Most of the best food I've ever had was something he made for me or told me about.

The fried-green tomatoes incident
I wanted to try these after I saw the movie (which, by the way, is hilariously...bad/good??). He threw together some flour, breadcrumbs, and garlic salt, and had me run out to our little raised garden in the side yard and pick a few unripe tomatoes. He sliced them and dipped them in egg, then the flour mixture and fried them up. We ate them. We ate them good. Just me and him in the dark kitchen in the house I grew up in, the light from the stove lighting the room. We must have eaten 4 or 5 tomatoes. My little, 7- or 8-year-old body couldn't handle that much acid in my food, so I spent the whole night throwing up. I haven't had them since then, but I remember how good they were.

The After-Church-Quesadillas
After church every Sunday, all my siblings and I were always starving. We wanted food NOW. While we were upstairs changing out of our Sunday best, my dad was in the kitchen, in his suit, mixing up whatever we had in the fridge and layering it all between two tortillas. It didn't have to be "Mexican." It just had to be edible. But it was always good. One particular mixture I remember had chicken, mango-peach salsa, and cream cheese in it. Then there was the ground beef and mozzarella cheese. They were delicious. And I still practice his method of making stuff work together based on what I have on-hand.

The Microwaveable Tacquitos
As kids, ketchup was our cure-all. Sometimes it still its. For the longest time, it was all we would dip anything in. Anything with meat got dipped in ketchup. Until Dad brought home some gourmet pineapple-pepper jelly. We used that stuff up so fast  We didn't even dish it out of the container. We just dipped the tacquitos right into the jar. And that is the first time in my life that I remember willingly eating something "spicy." Now I'm a spicy-fiend. Especially the spicy-sweet combos. 

Cheers to Dad!

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