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by on August 9th, 2011

Favorite Food Memories

Memories, what would we do without them?

Some of my favorite moments are served around a table. What on earth is more enjoyable than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a fabulous meal. Nothing, in my opinion. It doesn’t even have to be a fabulous gourmet meal but could be something as simple as a bowl of ice cream and some homemade cookies. Hey, they don’t even have to be homemade.

This picture was from a little cafe in Tuscany where we went several mornings for breakfast. No one spoke English, and this one kind little lady took it upon herself to get us a table and proceeded to show us some of the pastries. They were wonderful, the people and the pastries. — Unforgettable experience.

Some of my unforgettable moments of food are: my birthday dinner at Brennans’ Chef’s table which is in the kitchen, sitting outside a cafe in Bruges having a bucket of mussels, and sitting at my parents table with a big platter of fried catfish piled so high it looked like it would topple at any moment. I’ll never forget dinner in the cellar at Botin (the oldest restaurant in the world in Madrid) or a simple plate of cheese and meats sitting on our son’s deck in Chicago.

Also, top of the list would have to be any meal my son, Paul (chef Paul now) has ever prepared for us. He puts so much heart and soul into everything he cooks.

What about a meal or two (we went twice) at a little restaurant in a small village in Italy where no one spoke English but us. The waiters were so patient with us trying out our broken Italian. I remember them smiling, shaking their heads and then telling us the right way to pronounce the item. The meal — unforgettable, the memory — priceless.

I can take any food memory and tell you what I was doing at the time. I remember a trip with friends to DC and we had tongue at a Peruvian restaurant and how the waiter kept bringing us different meats to try. Also, the pictures on the wall were all intentionally hung crooked.  I never did understand that.

I remember a picnic in Napa and buying salads, cheeses and lots of wine and dessert, of course, and eating at a picnic table by the vineyards. Also a memorable meal was brunch at North Shore Pond in Chicago. Our son had taken us there for Mother’s Day one year and the scenery was beautiful with the French doors open where you could see all the flowers and the ducks in the pond, and I remember having Lardo in my soup.  Never had lardo before but now know if it is on the menu I want it.

Some people like to eat, while others like to cook and eat. I like to cook, eat and most of all like watching others enjoy what I have prepared.

So I would have to say most of my favorite memories are around a table involving food, or the meal might be on a sail boat, roof top, cellar or even floating in the pool.

I took so many pictures of our food in Italy that I had a collage poster made and now I can look at it and remember where we were when we had this wonderful food. What is your favorite food memory? Please leave a comment if you have an unforgettable food experience.

Bon Appetite!

This bruschetta was from that restaurant in Italy that we went to twice — Le Grotte nel Castello (somewhere in Tuscany, Laverna I think?) This was the first place friends of ours had tasted carbonara and now they love it.

Wonderful appetizer somewhere in Italy.

This was definitely an “I Love Lucy” moment. We took a cooking class at our villa at Il Borro and we were making ravioli and bow tie pastas.  We were rolling out the dough and it kept getting longer and longer and before you knew it, we had it layered on our arms.

Mussels in Bruges, Belgium along with fries of course and beer (not me on the beer).

I knew when we got to Bruge that I wanted, chocolate, a Belgium waffle, mussels and frites and my husband Belgium beer.  Who could resist the chocolate and the Belgium waffle covered with chocolate sauce. It was the best waffle I have ever had. And that was topped off by a chococoffee which had 5-6 chocolate wafers in the bottom of cup, topped with espresso and then topped with hot chocolate.  I was hyped for the rest of the day.

This BBQ shrimp was from a cooking class that my daughter and I took at The New Orleans Cooking Experience last year. — Any cooking class is a memorable experience for me. Please leave a comment about your favorite food experience.

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