Weaknesses: pie, avacado, green tea, scones
Know-How: doctored Raman, Finn dishes, vinaigrettes, mac and cheese, bacon
Writing, cooking, and dining are perhaps my most passionate pursuits. They also happen to be the things I challenged my father on persistently as a child, refusing to help him in the kitchen and throwing tantrums at his essay edits. But now that I am (moderately) grown up, I recognize that the art of food and the art of words are perhaps some of the most lovely, and the mostly easily shared.
Thankfully, a friend like Murph allows you to do both, and for many years we have done just that. Judy and I have been pen pals for most of our lives. Back when one corresponded on paper (something that has fallen out of fashion, but I still believe it valuable and comforting), we wrote each other about the ins and outs of elementary and middle school. We would send pictures, poems, and notes about our thoughts and pubescence. Our parents dutifully procured international stamps so that these labors of love could travel across the border of Washington and Canada. I loved writing Judy, and I loved receiving her letters. Although we are different, we are equally passionate people, and these notes were an outlet for that passion and a conduit for our friendship.
Our notes continued in spurts in high school and college, but mostly through email. While I studied abroad in Finland, Judy saved my 21st birthday by providing a pecan pie recipe that used maple syrup rather than the ubiquitous corn syrup (unavailable in the land of Finn). I truly explored food in college, along with several other food inspired friends. I learned how to roast meats, I learned how to handle pastry, and mostly, I learned that if you cook it -- they will come. Food is a the great unifier; especially in college. My dearest friends from college are the ones I cooked with.
Now on my own, with the exception of a charming Texas fella who lives and breathes by the mantra that everything is better with bacon, I am learning to cook for two on a tight budget. Matt and try to spend less than $200 on groceries a month. This means bringing things into my diet that I have at times abhorred: Raman, boxed macaroni & cheese, and canned vegetables. But, it is a valuable learning experience. First, I am understanding how income is tied to food inequity and nutrition in the US. Second, I am learning on a daily basis that if I make it myself, if I follow the illustrious words of Michael Pollan, and eat like my grandmother, that I not only get a better meal but that I save moola in the process. Thus I am on the journey of perfecting homemade sandwich bread, biscuits, and soups.
Along on this journey, is of course, Murph. Her words have long been a part of my life and through this new medium they continue.
So this is the collective record of our eats and our lives. It pays homage to our fathers and our families, the places we've lived and the things we love, and of course to our friendship of eating and writing together.