Saturday, September 18, 2010

FOODBUZZ Project Food Blog Challenge #1 - "I Am My Mother's Daughter" - VOTING STARTS SEPTEMBER 20th

"the best place to start" - Buchart Gardens Victoria, British Columbia
I am floating down a long hallway. The walls are lined with large tiles that look like wood and are accented with a thin line of smaller glass tiles. I think to myself that I would like to do that to my backsplash and keep gliding on. Further down, there are several doors with people standing in each. They take my picture as I pass. One even whips out a light diffusing umbrella and I think 'Wow, that's overkill’. All of a sudden I am concerned that I haven’t looked in a mirror and realise that I am wearing my sweats. Not at all appropriate for an interview.

Then I realise that I have acknowledged that I am headed to an interview. I become aware that I am in a dream and try to will myself into a suit. It doesn't work and I start to sweat. I change tact and try to will myself into going to the gym. It's only mildly successful as I am now being interviewed in my gym. It stinks of sweat socks and insecurity so not unlike many interviews. I am standing in front of a glass wall facing my interviewing panel, who are sat on spinning bikes. A woman begins to speak as if in the middle of a conversation.

"Cleary it is a simple task. What defines you as a Food Blogger?”

The panel all start to nod. “Why should you be the next Food Blog star?”

I slap my hand on the glass and scream. “You’re asking the wrong question!”

I take a cricket bat that has appeared in my hand and smash the glass. “Ask me Why!?" I find myself standing in glass shards in a black leotard, wearing a headband and leg warmers. I decide that is enough and wake-up.

It is 6h00am on any day of the week. There are 3 things that are going through my head the minute I rouse. When is the latest I can leave to be on time? What will we make for dinner? Do I need to put a bottle in the fridge?

Carmen Petite Sirah 2004 - (me)
I have resorted to keeping a number of bottles of wine in our already cramped refrigerator because you never know and have justified the dedication of all that space to the fact that it is more energy efficient to have a full fridge.

What can I say? I am my mother’s daughter. I would have railed against that idea not ten years ago but that is the reality of it. One key difference though, besides a full foot in stature; I was eye to eye with her at the age of 13 and in another sense now, is the fact that I have come to accept that I am obsessed with Food. Well, I should qualify and say Eating. I was a few keystrokes away from saying ‘consumed’.

Me @ 2 sitting on table
Looking back, I have been intrigued with the process and ritual since I was a toddler. I often fell asleep sitting on the kitchen table, while watching mom make Kimchee long past my bedtime because that was the only time mom had. Back then the only way to buy bulk quantities of Korean Cabbage in Toronto was to know in which mini-mall parking lot to be during the wee hours of dawn on a weekend with dozens of other Korean moms to buy them from the back of a large truck. My job was to open and hold the jars for her to fill because her hands would be covered in the paste she was smothering on the Cabbage layers. That was decades ago and she uses gloves and dad now.

Recently, I flew Mom down to San Francisco to visit my sisters and went down for a weekend to join them. My sisters, slightly weary of having mom, who is normally thousands of kilometres away, whispered to me that they thought Mom was obsessed with Food. Mom overheard us, and V asked her point blank. She was appalled at the idea. Of course my sisters, who live on Trader Joe’s ready meals and bagged salads, would make that assessment on any of us. To Mom, V was asking the wrong question.

                Balinese Rice Paddy                                                              Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival

Fish Monger, Galapagoes                                                              Ramen House, Tokyo
My shocking conclusion was one that I have had to journey to piece together. Living, eating and traveling abroad and seeing the traditions and culture that food carries was only the mermaid on the ship’s hull. A few years ago, I was sharing a flat with a Canadian-Portuguese girl in England. Our fridge was always full. Well, it was full with her shopping. It reminded me of mom’s fridge. We were chatting about that because while I was in London, I was more of a shop-per-meal sort of singleton. She pointed to a tile over our kitchen door. It was a Portuguese adage about providing a bountiful table to all that enter. In that, she and I found more commonality in our upbringings as a Portuguese-Canadian and Korean-Canadian than we ever could have in Maple Syrup and the use of the letter U in the word colour.

Rainbow Dhuk - Korean Rice Cake
Food and Eating is an experience meant to be shared. In a Korean village, during even the most impoverished eras, if someone had enough rice to have made into Dhuk (Rice Cake), it was understood the whole community was invited to a piece. Similarly, more than half my baking goes to the office. It needn’t be glamorous to be celebrated and I certainly am not. So when we found ourselves snowed in last New Year’s Day in the biggest snowfall in Vancouver in my lifetime, we cooked and cooked. Since it was ‘Recovery day’, we had more than the two of us needed. I felt the need, the irrepressible pang to share it all, recipes, images, smells, flaws and simplicity. Hence, I started a blog to provide the same bounty to all that clicked and entered to join me. That is my why which is my what which is my why. ~

999 Words :^D not including photo captions. They don't count right?

9 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

My Little Space said...

Hi there, welcome to FB! This is such a beautiful write up. You will definitely have my vote. Wishing you all the best & good luck. Hope you're enjoying your day.

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely post
have fun

The Cilantropist said...

omg, that photo of you as a child is too cute. :)

Butter said...

Good Morning - I woke up and yours was the first blog I read this morning and I loved it. That dream sequence opening was just great. The pictures you painted of you with our mother were beautiful. The last paragraph really made me stop and think: "Even the most impoverished eras, if someone had enough rice to have made into Dhuk (Rice Cake), it was understood the whole community was invited to a piece." Thank you for sharing I look forward to being connected and learning more :)
- Butter

Me said...

Thank you all for your comments and support! As for the story about the Dhuk, my dad told me that story. It's absolutely true. The folks have thousands of stories they pepper into their reminisces.

As for my baby photo, aw shucks :^)

Daily Spud said...

Lovely insight into your whats and your whys. Best of luck in PFB, you'll have a vote from me :)

janelle said...

Just voted you! So happy to find you!!!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Just voted for you! I know it's hard to understand who's who without the profile pics. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

Beautiful. I lived in Korea for a while, and I totally miss the food!