I guess you are not supposed to remember things that happened before the age of three, but I have clear memories of the home I lived in. I can picture the tall redwoods, the sun shining through the forest, I can hear the stream bubbling. I am even aware of how far it is from the bounty. The bounty then was the vegetable garden my mother grew. The bounty was actually my favorite thing. I think my parents like to think my favorite things were books and reading, or Alice my dog, or my big sisters coming to visit, or Mr. Rogers on TV, but no it was food. I loved food so much that I would literally toddle into the garden and eat tomatoes off the vine. I loved it so very much, that I would eat raw vegetables like they were candy. My first memory is so vividly connected with the food growing in my mother’s garden, that I’m not sure the memory would exist if it wasn’t for the smell and taste of those yellow cherry tomatoes.

 

I would like to say this now, and get it over with, I have never had a hot dog. This is not an invitation to tempt me with the most amazing hot dog dish ever created, that I just have to have, I have zero desire. Plus, if I’m being candid, I rather enjoy being able to say it is something I have never consumed and I would like to keep it that way. Hot dogs are for kids, or at least that’s how it starts, and my mother fed us like she was nourishing our souls through our bellies. We ate fresh ingredients. We ate every meal at the dinner table. We asked to be excused. If we were full, we said politely that “I have had a sufficient amount to eat”. I didn’t know what cookies were until it could no longer be avoided. There was nothing lazy about our meals. My mother attempted to sneak vegetables into the desserts she served, I was mortified and ridiculed for the shredded zucchini in her jello at my birthday party. We always had to take a “no-thank-you-bite”, even if you theatrically gagged and psuedo vomitted at the sight and smell of yellow squash. It was a firm rule. We were fed simple, healthy, conscious food by a mother’s love.   


I now find myself immersed in the produce industry and learning new things every day about the ingredients that chefs at every level are using to create the food that my Bay Area community consumes. I am a complete novice in the kitchen. I have a desire to know everything there is to know about seasonality, growing regions, refining my palate, creating dishes for the people I love, and practically using these ingredients in a home kitchen. This is my purposeful ramble into the world of produce, honoring the teachings of my mother and possibly finding me in the process.

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