Growing up, food always served an important purpose in my life — it was something to be shared and enjoyed with friends and family over conversation and laughter. It was a warm comforting way of being nurtured by my mother when she’d make my favorite meal as a kid. In addition, of course, the obvious reason is that food is just plain delectable. Cooking was something we did together as a family, a way of coming together to create something delicious to be enjoyed by all. Some of my favorite childhood memories are the times my Grandmother (a mother of four, a grandmother of 6, and the most AMAZING Southern cook) spend the day cooking with me. Some of my favorites we’d make together were peach cobbler, chicken and biscuits, homemade guava preserves – she’d always have some sort of  bread baking upon my arrival of every visit, and I can still imagine that fresh-baked-bread smell of Gramma’s house. My mother and father instilled in me a great appreciation for food and for cooking; not only as a way of nurturing ourselves and caring for the ones we love, but also as an outlet for creativity, as a way to have fun and enjoy it as one of the good things in life. Both my parents have always been great cooks, and have taught me alot.
Lately, whether it’s reverting back the good ol’ comfort food my mom always made, or experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients I found in a specialty shop, cooking is my therapy. It’s my creative outlet, something I find a sense of pride in. I love making new things, whether it’s chipping away at that long list of Pinterest recipes I’d been meaning to try, making up dishes improvising with whatever I happen to have on hand, or sticking to the classics that my mom and grandmother passed down, it is my favorite hobby. I’m also an adventurous eater, and will try anything, so I always appreciate new and foreign cuisine — I’m always on the lookout for a fresh culinary experience. George B. Shaw once said: “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”, and well, I wouldn’t disagree. Food is delicious. It is always there to comfort us, satisfying our cravings, providing nutrition. It invokes fond childhood memories and has the ability to instantly bring us back to the good old days with just one bite. Food doesn’t judge us or ever complain. It doesn’t care if we look ugly, or have pimples, or smell like a sweaty foot;  it is always there for us with open arms saying “eat me”.  Its sole purpose is to satisfy us and keep us alive. Its diversity is endless. There is a great big world of food out there to experience, and there’s no humanly way to possibly eat it all in a hundred lifetimes… but, damn it, I’m gonna try.