I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother’s Day celebrations, yesterday, with their families! It’s been five years since I celebrated it with my mom. I still miss her, so much! However, I do love celebrating it with my own kids (now adults), just as Mom did with us – at a restaurant, or with carry-out, or having a backyard cookout – as long as it doesn’t involve me having to cook or clean-up for one day! On the other hand, I actually enjoy doing all that for any other celebrations!
- Mother’s Day
- Independence Day
- Father’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Patrick’s Day
- New Year’s Day (& Eve)
Other noteworthy, unofficial “holidays”, celebrations of which embrace food (and/or drinks) in some way, include Major League Baseball’s opening day, Super Bowl Sunday, Spring Break Week, Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend!
There are also special milestones that we celebrate with food, as well – engagements, weddings and anniversaries, along with pregnancies and birthdays are most common. Additional fetes include confirmations, bar/bat mitzvas, graduations, family reunions, retirements, job promotions, and house-warmings.
People usually celebrate almost every special day or event with some kind of food (and/or drink) – except for a few religious holidays, as they focus on “fasting”. New Year’s Day through New Year’s Eve, all the big holidays and special events in our lives are, in some fashion, marketed in the food industry as much as they are commemorated in the greeting card industry!
As I’ve said before, “Any reason to celebrate, is a reason to celebrate with food…” (Feb. 24, 2020) would make a great ad slogan – but remember, I coined it first! No matter the occasion, even for something as simple as a Sunday supper, nothing amasses people together more than food. All-in-all, we love food almost as much as we love each other.
Sharing food is how we celebrate, make friends, nurture relationships, and mend conflicts. I remember when I was young, crying to Mom that I didn’t have any friends. The next day, she sent me to school with a lunch bag full of cookies to share with the other kids. Mom firmly believed that the way to the heart is through the stomach. Thus, friendships can be formed through the sharing of good food – and cookies are great ice-breakers! It worked for me!
Food brings us comfort, happiness, and joy. It makes us feel welcomed and connected, bringing out the best in us. Common interests in food allow us to bond with others, creating a sense of fitting in. Humans, by nature, seek pleasure and they often find it in food. Certain “comfort foods” – sugar, salt, and fat based foods are the three basic culprits – trigger pleasure censors in our brains, making us feel good (emotionally).
Food obviously provides nutrients for energy, growth, and health. However, in many cultures, certain foods and drinks symbolize status, power, and wealth. Food, as well as cooking, connects people – to each other, events, and places –crossing all borders, both, literally and figuratively. “Foodie” is the modern term given to the artisan who is passionate about food (& cooking).
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipe Report (Secret Recipe Report, St. Clair, MI; Issue 85, January 1981; p. 2)
NOT MANY FOLKS KNOW, and even fewer folks care that cooking habits and preferences give a clue to others about your hidden characteristics and secret personality ingredients.
If you look closely at the kind of cooking that people enjoy, you can tell a lot about their disposition and attitudes toward life. Like an astrological reading – only in some cases it’s more like a ‘horror’-scope, the experts tell us what to expect of folks who choose the following cooking preferences:
THE GOURMET COOK – Is a perfectionist in theory – but not always in practice. They set high standards for themselves – and for others, making it difficult to please them. They’re conscientious about improving their present position, never completely satisfied with what they have and always secretly desiring to identify with the refinement and good taste that purports to accompany elegance.
THE JUNK FOOD COOK – Is a person who can make instant decisions and not be upset by an exhilarated lifestyle. They are a bit reckless in their choices, usually preferring total freedom and personal happiness even if there is a risk to be considered. They don’t like to waste time and cannot be troubled with unimportant details or pretensions. They like short-cuts because they are usually impatient – but extremely thrifty.
THE HEALTH FOOD (OR NATURAL FOODS) COOK – …Is pre-occupied with sound, physical health and well-being to the extent of sometimes sacrificing emotional well-being for disciplined decisions. How one feels physically and what makes the body operate and function properly is more important than how one thinks to this cook. They are basically apprehensive, fearful and suspicious. They insist upon facts – not assumptions. Hardly careless and extremely dedicated, they are dependable people.
DOWN-HOME COOKS – …are usually content with whatever sufficiency is assigned to them in life. They make the most of what they have, ‘making-do’ and ‘doing-without’ when necessary. They’re inventive and creative and appreciative.
ETHNIC COOKS – […are] proud of their heritage – are very family-oriented and serious about tradition, home life and moral obligations. Stable and sometimes stubborn people, but loyal!
When you enjoy cooking, spending time in the kitchen eases stress and restlessness. Cooking engages all of our senses. It also generates pleasant memories, which relieves anxiety and boosts attitudes. The immersion enhances the cook’s mood and improves happiness.
Mom turned creative cooking into a new art form when she pioneered the copycat cookery movement over 45 years ago. Cooking can be like any art form in that the artist – or the cook, in this case – finds harmony in the process of creating and satisfaction in seeing the finished product, as well as the joy it brings others.
When I was growing up, it seemed like every gathering Mom (and Dad) hosted or to which she took a dish-to-pass, Mom was a combination of David Copperfield and Da Vinci; creating, both, magic and art with her delightful, culinary cuisines! Check out a great, timeless article that I’ve recommended before, called Cooking is an Art: What Makes a Chef an Artist, Craftsman and Visionary by Colt Taylor (July 3, 2014), at EliteDaily.com!
Even if you’re not a “foodie”, here are some ways to help you fall more in love with cooking:
- Get familiar with the basics by watching videos and/or taking a beginner’s cooking class.
- Start with searching (online) for individual recipes that you’ll enjoy before investing in collections (i.e. books).
- Experiment with different ingredient combinations to customize to your tastes.
- Get family and friends involved with your new passion – share the love!
In honor of May, being National Strawberry Month, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Aunt Jenny’s Strawberry Chiffon Pie; as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p.5).
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Some of May’s observances include… American Cheese Month, Better Speech and Language Month, National Asparagus Month, National Barbecue Month, National Egg Month, National Get Caught Reading Month, National Hamburger Month, National Inventor’s Month, National Photography Month, National Preservation Month, National Recommitment Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
Saturday, May 14th, is… National Buttermilk Biscuit Day! In honor, here’s Mom’s secret recipe for Kentucky Biscuits, as seen in her self-published cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Mostly 4-Ingredient Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1986, p. 101).
Plus, as the 2nd Saturday of May (for 2022), it’s also… Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day!
Sunday, May 15th, is… National Chocolate Chip Day! Plus, it’s the start of Bike to Work Week [15th-21st for 2022], which is always the week of National Bike to Work Day [3rd Friday in May (the 20th for 2022)]!
…19 down and 33 to go!