Before reality hit, my dream job was always to be a food critic. I just love going to restaurants and eating out with friends or family. I also adore writing. Voilà, the perfect combination. To be paid to try different foods at an array of interesting and unique restaurants? Heaven. My husband doesn’t share the same love of eating out with me. He would much prefer staying and cooking in. He’s actually much more interested in the drinks than the food. And I want it all! Bring on the happy hour, appetizers, main course, AND dessert. Sacha rolls his eyes lovingly at me because I always ask for the dessert menu while we are choosing our main dish. I need to see what’s on the sugar menu! So, while I look at the dessert menu, he looks to see what’s on tap. And then we eventually get around to the entrées. He also thinks I am the queen of picky ordering and maybe I am-I just like things a certain way. Oh yeah, I am the one with the special order. So shoot me!
I am, and always have been, a food lover. My dear better half, however, doesn’t share my love of yummy food. And I particularly enjoy going out to dinner. No dishes after? Win win! I love cooking but I hate cleaning up. In fact, Sacha doesn’t like to go out to eat at all. Definitely the male/female thing going on here.
Now, if I weren’t going to be a food critic, I thought that I would be a travel writer. Adventures across the globe-they used to be more rustic, (hello, Peace Corps!?!) but these days, I would be a 5-star girl if I had my choice. Bring on the luxury! I might not be the best writer, but I am the most persistent. I could have really gotten into the travel writing vibe. I actually use writing as an excuse to procrastinate. If I have a list of 10 things to do, I can drop them all, write it out, and then get back to whatever it is that I need to do. Writing cleanses my brain, it’s good therapy. I can go to bed with a brain that isn’t as full of thoughts and I can sleep better. Usually, my head is racing and I can’t juggle all of the thoughts.
My girls are clearly turning out more like me than their Daddy when it comes to their love of food. They thoroughly enjoy going out to dinner just like their Mum. Daddy would much prefer to stay home, have some drinks and cook dinner. Slowly. I am more of a results kind of girl and when I am hungry, I want food! Sachie always jokes that when it comes to food, I have a 15-minute window before someone gets hurt. And it’s usually him. Oh, and any mother can relate to not having to cook dinner, right? And the clean up? Even if the husband cleans up, there is still the clean up after the clean up. You know?
My daughters are not good sleepers (Exsqueese me, 5 am!?!), but they ARE good munchers-they even eat pickled onions and olives. Even the Roo. She gets practically giddy when there is anything pickled on the table. That clearly comes from their Dad. Their idea of a yummy snack is some pearled onions and an olive mélange. Oh, and they also love sausages and bacon-that comes from moi. One of Remi’s first words in French was “lardons”-BACON. Zoë has a particular (and perhaps peculiar) love of mussels. When we went to Croatia a couple years ago, that’s pretty much all she ate. She was 3 ½ years old. Mia has a special place in her heart for my black beans and homemade tortillas. She came home on her first day of 2nd grade and told me a story about her teaching asking the class what their favorite food was-everyone else said chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, plain pasta with butter. Mia announced that she just looooves her Mummy’s beans and tortillas. Love that kid!
Their love of sweets? Now that comes, 100%, from me. And I get it from my Mum. She is British, after all. We love all the homemade sweeties with fresh clotted cream. And her homemade strawberry rhubarb pie is out of this world, my favorite dessert ever. She makes the crazy-good homemade crust with orange zest. I think I have mentioned it before. I am crazy in love with this dessert. Enough said.
Now, somewhere deep inside me, I think there is a Southern girl. I just love Southern food-my Mum’s fried chicken, homemade buttermilk biscuits, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes. Yup, I know-not an ounce of goodness in any of that. Sacha is thoroughly amused by my passion for Southern comfort food. And although we don’t ever do fast food (it might open a flood gate?), I have to say the one time I had Popeye’s, I could have knocked you down if you tried to take a bit of my food or distracted me.
My dear husband also lovingly calls me “Joey Tribianni” because frankly, I don’t share my food. I share every darn other thing about my life, but what is on my plate is mine alone. Especially when it comes to desserts. Don’t bring me two spoons to share my hot fudge sundae with my husband (he doesn’t want it anyway) because it’s all mine. And maybe that sounds selfish. But as I said, I am happy to share most everything else in my life and it’s the one treat I have for me!
In the end, I hope to instill the social, family-first side of eating into my daughters. It’s the family-table traditions that are important. Eating together, sharing moments as a family. That’s what my family did when I was little-we were required to eat dinner as a unit. I appreciated it then and I treasure it now. All kidding aside. But if we are ever out to a restaurant, bring me my dessert menu first, please. And I’ll take extra hot fudge on that sundae. Hold the nuts. Cherry on the side. And a beer for my husband.