Top Chef And Family Food Ties - The Poker Playing Chef Blog at - 225462

The Poker Playing Chef

Top Chef and family food ties 
Mar. 3, 2011 6:24 am 
Updated: Mar. 5, 2011 5:50 am
It's Thursday so I have to comment on Top Chef, my guilty pleasure.  Last night's episode was all about a subject we all know, foods we grew up with, family food traditions.  This subject really hit home for me.  It wasn't that we had any super-special family recipes (although I'd put my mom's apple pie in any contest).  Family food is about remembering.  It is real, it is comfort, it is memories, it touches our soul in ways that few other things can do.

On Saturday I leave to go and spend some time with my parents.  I am trying to do that every few months.  It involves a seven hour drive but that's nothing compared to the pleasure we get from each other's company.  My dad is 83 and my mom is 78.  I am lucky because they are still alive and active except that my mom's health is been an issue this year because of COPD.  They love and are very involved in food and cooking.  When I had my last restaurant my dad's favorite thing when he would come to see me was standing by the line and watching me whip out the food.  That made me nervous and so I made him my "food prep executive" on his visits.  He really got a kick out being part of the team in a busy restaurant.

On this visit I plan to make them some meals, that goes without saying.  I'm also planning on bringing my ice cream maker and making my mom and dad some of my mocha heath bar ice cream, his favorite.  Most importantly we will sit and visit and share meals and laugh and love.  That is what family and food is all about.
Mar. 3, 2011 11:00 am
Mom and I appreciate you as our daughter. We look forward to many more years and many more visits to add to our memories. We love you. Dad
Mar. 3, 2011 11:57 am
And they read your blogs... you are a lucky girl!! Agree totally that good times around food are the "ties that bind!"
Mar. 5, 2011 5:50 am
You are very lucky to have them that "close." My parents live 1700 miles away. They are both in their 70's and I worry about them. My mom would get a kick out of my saying that because she still worries about me, her "baby." Interested to know (and see) what kind of meals you make them.
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About Me
I am a retired chef and restaurant owner. I love food and all things related to it. I am also an avid Texas Holdem poker player. I am married with an awesome husband and two grown happily married children and one grandson. I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in a very small town. We live on 10 acres and have three different gardens with varying levels of success that my beautiful daughter-in-law is in charge of with my help. I believe in cooking from scratch and am glad that I now have the time to do it.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make soups, baked goods, and delicious entrees. I make all of our breads and pastries from scratch. Eggs are my friend and I used to be a breakfast cook for years. Many chefs hate cooking eggs and that was true of the chefs I hired so I became the breakfast chef at my busy little restaurant.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We like to make tamales a couple of times a year for Cinco de Mayo and Christmas Eve even though we are gringos. We don't let that fact stop us! Of course we need black-eyed peas for good luck at New Years. Thanksgiving without our jalapeno cornbread stuffing would be family sacrilege.
My cooking triumphs
One of my favorite meals I have cooked was Thanksgiving dinner for 80 seniors. I wanted to bring them holiday memories through the tastes and smells of my holiday menu. When I saw some of them getting teary about the meal I knew I had succeeded.
My cooking tragedies
Any tragedies I have had have gone straight into the trash and out of my mind. No sense dwelling on negatives.
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