The beginnings

I wrote a post on my personal blog about the origins of this project.  I’m putting a link here for the sake of completeness.

Today’s Mom Food: the kid loves it when I make patties out of the leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast. Today’s mash is from that mash of potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower that we had with the roast beef. They’re pretty good (just added an egg and about 1/3 cup flour to around 2 cups of the mash and fried the patties in oil).

Photography

I’m not a photographer.  In fact, I’m really not that good at any kind of visual art. I’m not down on myself about it; it’s just not one of my strengths. I have lots of other strengths, so it’s okay.

It’s kind of a liability when you’re doing a food blog, though.

Yesterday, the kid took some of the photos of dinner, and they turned out well (she’s a professional artist, with three years of photo training), but my pictures turned out pretty well, too (I’ll show you when I post on the rib roast later on).  I decided that what I want is not to stop taking the photos for this blog; I just want to get better at it.  So for the next little while, I may add another timesink to my online browsing habit: websites about food photography technique. If you have any to share, I’d be grateful.

And here’s a photo of today’s breakfast, to underscore how much I need the help. Both the tomato in the sandwich and the peach were from our organic box. Both were delicious.

tomato sandwich
Tomato Sandwich

Today’s accomplishments

Events? We got events!

Because of my injured ankle (don’t ask, because I don’t know), I am spending a lot of time sitting with my feet up. Now, that sounds good, but gets old fast. Fortunately, I do allow myself some time doing other things: cooking, sitting at my computer, lecturing the kid on how her chores are a part of life just like my going to work is… You know, the fun stuff.

Today, I made the Project a Google account and a Google-Calendar-powered Events page (since discontinued). I started with the events at Omnivore Books on Food, because I wish I could go to Every. Single. One. of their events. I do plan to be at the tomato contest event on August 14th, and I hope I can get myself to schlep to the city for some more of those great-looking readings, etc.

Tonight’s Mom Food is a rib eye roast, which I’ve never made before, so I (of course) called mom to see what to do. Rub it with garlic and salt and pepper, she says, and put it in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes a pound, unless it’s still pretty frozen, in which case 30 minutes a pound. Don’t tell her I plan to stick a meat thermometer in there and go by temp rather than time, okay? I will record the time, though, and odds are, she’s completely right. That’s the way moms are, y’know?

Twenty-two days to launch. There’s a lot of work to do, but it’s really fun, and I’m inspired by all the bloggers and tweeters I’ve had the time to read while I’m off from work.

Twenty-four days to launch

This is crazy (in a good way). More than three weeks to launching the Project, and we already have 16 followers on Twitter, a good dozen people willing to contribute their Mom Food stories to the blog, and our first pingback. This is before the real posts have even started! I think maybe this idea has hit a nerve among my peers. Rock on.

Oh, and have a photo. It’s one I’m not using for the second post, but I like it enough to post it here anyway.

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich

Rule-breaking

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What is Mom Food?

What is Mom Food? It’s the food that evokes our memories of being loved. See also Dad Food, Auntie Food, Grandma Food…

Mom Food is about the people who feed us because they love us. It’s also about the food that evokes memories of being loved.

For me, it’s my mom. For you, it may be your dad, your aunt, a grandparent, or the person next door who took care of you when your parents couldn’t.

Mom Food (or Dad Food or Aunt Food) is about that feeling of love you get when you eat that certain thing your mom fixed you when you were little, or when you were sick. Mom Food is the thing that makes you eat your Cream of Wheat with butter and honey, “because that’s the way Grandpa made it.”

This project has been years in the imagining. For the last few years, I’ve been having long, happy conversations with my mother, both in person and on the phone, while she walks me through the recipes of my childhood. She loves doing it, because it brings home to her the fact that her children realize what a loving act it was, feeding our large family. It also assures her that those foods she so lovingly prepared for us — often foods she herself didn’t like — will survive when she is gone, and go on to bring joy to the next generation.

My mom loves to cook, and cooks well, but we didn’t have what most people would think of as fancy foods. Mom Food doesn’t have to be fancy and elaborate. Mom Food is just food — creamed peas on toast, or spaghetti with tomato sauce, or congee — made by someone who loves you. If there are kids in your life, I hope you will take the time to cook for them, so that some day, they will find themselves putting olive oil, salt, and fresh basil on chopped summer tomatoes because that’s the way you made it for them.

That’s Mom Food.