Cause it's my blog, dammit. Here's my morning joe. I put a bit of cinnamon in with the grounds. (I wonder if they really do that in Mexico?)
I'm a new foodie. A foodie in training. I've always loved to eat, but I wouldn't say I learned anything about cooking at my mothers knee. She was a perpetually broke single mother living a 70's brand of vegetarianism and had little time for culinary explorations. But her food was simple and nutritious. If I learned anything it was that you don't need meat to anchor a meal. (seems obvious now, but it really was radical at the time.) I guess I also learned to use a minimal amount of pre-made or processed food. Here are some mom dishes:
•Zucchini cut into rounds and fried in her cast iron pan on both sides. She would then put a tiny cube of cheese on each round and cover the pan until the cheese melted. I thought it was the bomb.
•Vegetarian lasagna: for special occasions. She never did the straight up vegetarian = spinach thing. She would put whatever was in the vegetable drawer in there: carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms, summer squash, cabbage, whatever.
•Iced herb tea: oh my god! My mom would send me outside (we lived on what had been a dairy farm before I was born,) to pick fresh mint. There were three patches around the farmhouse, I don't remember what they were, but my favorite was the tall fuzzy leafed variety. She would brew the mint in hot water, sweeten it with honey, add lemon juice and pour it into a gallon glass jar with cold water. Poured over ice, it was heavenly.
My introduction to good food really started in the middle of my waitressing years. But first a story about my first job ever:
Donuts Delite, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: I learned to fry a burger on a flat grill, wake up a bum by pounding the napkin holder on the counter, and how, on a ten minute break, to smoke a cigarette, drink a 16 oz. coffee, eat a doughnut (1 free per shift) and call my friends from the pay phone. My favorite flavors were blueberry cake and glazed cruller. I wore a brown & white checkered dress with a built-in apron and a brown hat that snapped in the front.
Well, writing a food history is obviously going to take more than one post. Let's call this to be continued...