When I first began to plan and talk about this project back in 2007, I had a very specific goal in mind: Capture all my mother’s food as written recipes, to preserve them for posterity. I thought maybe I’d make a book out of them and present them to her (not that she needs the recipes, but as a token of how much they mean to me).
Then I started talking to people about the project, and they just got so excited! Not about my mom’s recipes—no one really cares about those but me. They got excited about their own Mom Food stories. People love to talk about the foods of their childhoods, and I love hearing about them.
What has kind of surprised me, though, is the groundswell of love from folks who are being the Mom (or Dad or Aunt or Teacher) in Mom Food (Dad Food, Aunt Food, etc.). Grandmas and daughters, sons and neighbors — everyone who cooks at all seems to have a story somewhere about something they cooked for the sheer love of their family.
Until that started happening, I never really twigged to the fact that I am also the Mom in Mom Food. It all started for me with my own mother, but it continues because I have taken her love of feeding people and run with it. It’s gratifying to have connected with that, unexpectedly.
One of the Mom Foods I make that is about me as a mom rather than as the child-recipient of Mom Food is sushi. Mom never made it. I made it occasionally before the kid came along, but now, because she loves it, it’s a regular thing.
The kid has always been an adventurous eater. While her brother wouldn’t eat any food that touched other foods, she would mix it all together. He wouldn’t eat anything more adventurous than cheese pizza; she ate sushi and pickled beets and all manner of things at a very young age. I loved feeding both of them, but am I a bad parent for saying it was more fun to feed the non-picky eater?
[We have a good Korean/pan-Asian grocery store near us, and the inari wrappers (along with everything else one may want for sushi) are super-cheap, so once in a while, I buy a big package of them and make the kid’s day. Ask me to tell you about the day we were in Koreana and the kid decided we should buy live crabs! Oy.]
Sushi is so easy to make that it’s almost embarrassing. For a cute tutorial, see the video below: Post-Punk Kitchen chicks making some vegan sushi.
What foods do you cook mostly because someone you love loves them?
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I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.
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