“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”

The food of friendship? Anything I share with Mrs S.

Throughout my adult life I’ve said I’m thankful to be able to cook & feed myself, and type & earn a living but now I realise both have given me so much more. However,  I’m not wanting to marry the two so you won’t read a lot of “foodie” content in my posts. Not because I’m not into foodie blogs or posts. Au contraire, I’m a fan. I just won’t be posting recipes or photos of my culinary creations. I love all those bloggers who do & I devour their posts as avidly as the hummus, olives & biccies I’m hoovering in as I type. 

I have 10 kilos that are testimony to my attachment to the glory that is good food and on a normal day I think about breakfast after dinner the night before and lunch after breakfast the next day. Food blogging for me is like crack to an addict. One post would never be enough and eventually you would all shun me. 

So this is a fairly rare posting event but there is a reason. As is my way, when I shouldn’t write about something, I just have to. Another thing I ordinarily avoid is short stories as I’m crap at writing them. However, I’m in the process of crafting a short story for a “food from the heart” competition which is a subject close to my heart, giving me grounds to deviate from my self imposed no foodie post guideline: it’s an excellent vehicle for procrastination as I’ve exhausted the gamut of other distractions such as work, novel/story/blog post/magazine reading, housework, shopping, cooking, TV.

Food’s attraction for me is its connection to people, memories & feelings. The G.O. (who I think of as vanilla biscuits and meat & mash) will testify to each time we have corned beef, I mention my Pa and how much I loved his next-day corn beef fritters, with tomato sauce of course. One of my best memories of my mother is baking chocolate cake with her when I was less than counter top height. Mainly though when I think of Mum, I think of tinned tomato soup, cheese frypan sandwiches & wafer thin pancakes drizzled with lemon juice & sugar. Dad (who I think of as rock cakes & oysters kilpatrick) smiles when he tells me we ate those things when we had no money. Happily, I never knew we were ever poor. 

When I look back through my life & memories, food is right there next to love and kinship. Whether I’m celebrating, grieving or nurturing, my first instinct is to find or create food. We made and named a vegan lasagne after an event in my sister’s (who I still think of as creamed corn & soy cheese even though she now eats meat) love life and also refer to it as Kurt Cobain lasagne after the album we were listening to during the process. 

Food, I’ve found is best created to (loud) music and with a glass of wine in hand, to drink not for in the food. Dad tells me I get that from his mother (who I think of as plum pudding with jelly cherries). I value the idea of legacy and often feel the muses of cooks past in my kitchen. 

Midway through typing this post I was led to a blog post that echoes my thoughts: http://teachosaur.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/home-cookin/
If you feel so inclined please comment and share your food connections.

Quote from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826), The Physiology of Taste, 1825

14 thoughts on ““Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”

  1. Food definitely has memories, and I grew up eating canned tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches (or popcorn). My mom was a roast beef, mashed potatoes, canned peas and iceberg lettuce salad kind of cook, except for her desserts, which were wonderful. I cook well in spurts (homemade soups, braised veggies, etc.), but then I revert back to the easy — baked potatoes with chili types of meals. I wonder which alternate personality of cooking my kids will remember.


    1. I’m glad someone else also has memories of tomato soup & cheese toasted sandwiches. I’m guessing your kids will remember the baked potato with chilli meals, I know I would… yum. Baked potatoes remind me of my single years, when I’d top them whatever was in the fridge.


  2. I never had cheese toasted sandwiches, although we did have cheese on toast which is totally different, as it is more of a spicy cheese sauce thing.

    Anyway, I do hope you will share your short story on here when you have entered the competition.


    1. Thnx. I’d love to – it’s an excuse for me to indulge my food memories, but it’s not an online comp where I could link to the entry, and there’s a boring rule that says the entry cannot be published elewhere…


  3. Great post, EllaDee! I do agree with you about food and its connection to people, memories and feelings. I cook meals that are from my childhood memories when I am feeling terribly homesick for instance. Though I try a lot of new recipes these days, there are old favorites that I love resurrecting when I need to connect with my old life. 😉


  4. Food and I have a love hate relationship. I do love food, and now that I have started cooking my own, I find I love it more. It changes the relationship you have with food when you take the time to prepare it and know where your food is coming from. That simple mindset helped me change a lot of things in life. I went from seeing food as a destructive force, a drug that helped me even my keel when I was under. Now, I see it as a revitalizing creation, one that helps me feel nurtured and nourished.


    1. Excellent. Food is a tool, and like all tools can be used for better or worse depending on the tradesman. I like to hear you are using to nuture & nourish yourself – very powerful 🙂 EllaDee


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