When I was a little girl, I wanted the Pretty Pretty Princess Game. I wanted it bad! I couldn’t imagine anything more fun than combining two of my favorite loves – board games and dress-up! I was about 9 years old when this game came out and probably getting just a little too old for it but I didn’t care. Watching the little girls on the commercial play and acquire pretty pieces of jewelry and the ultimate crown had me hooked. I, like many young girls, dreamt of being a princess and sometimes I really even felt like one. I was all frills and lace and poufy skirts; glitter, glam and big curly hair. And, even though I’m all grown up, (or so I like to think) I still feel like a princess sometimes.
What is more simple and pleasing than potatoes? The ultimate comfort food in my book, they are so incredibly versatile – you can do just about anything with them. Next to sushi, the potato is my favorite food. It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. In my next life I want to be a potato because everybody would love me and I would be such a great multi-tasker!
There are so many interesting and intricate things you can do with potatoes but I want to put that aside for one day and go back to basics. What is more basic than potato wedges? So simple and effortless yet irresistible, they make a perfect side dish. In fact, they are so good I could make them my entire meal!
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. It’s the biggest celebration of summer, the cheeriest season of the year. Now I know I’ve been going on and on about summer and barbecues and how wonderful it all is but can you blame me? I mean, who wouldn’t love this holiday with all the red, white and blue decorating the sidewalks, fun gatherings and, of course, fireworks. Oh the majestic fireworks. I remember as a child my excitement all summer waiting for those vibrant pops of color bursting through the sky with their thunderous boom. How the world just seemed to melt away and get lost in the magic.
Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? And what better time of year than right now when the summer days are hot, the nights are cool and friends and family are gathering in the neighborhood to share food and fun times. Summer evenings are full of magic. I can close my eyes now and see lightning bugs glowing like miniature lighthouses floating through the sky. I can hear children running, playing and laughing and the sound of crickets chirping. Wait, that may be for real – aak! I think there’s a cricket in my kitchen! Oh well, I’m about to take this party outside anyhow!
I love when people come to visit. Because neither M nor I am from California, we get plenty of out of town visitors each year. It’s always so much fun because I get to act like a goofy tourist and do all the fun San Diego things I normally wouldn’t do on my own. Most of our family and friends come from areas of the country or world that are rather remote in terms of access to different food cultures. My family in Indiana is just now beginning to experience sushi when I fell in love with it over 10 years ago. Likewise, for M’s family, you won’t find a lot of Vietnamese or Moroccan cuisine in Austria.
I have always been daring and independent. Well, maybe not always. In 1st grade I would not let my mother leave me alone in a classroom of new students for the first 2 weeks. I was extremely shy and afraid of making new friends, but I still had a stubborn streak. Growing up in the Midwest, it was the popular thing to go along with social conventions and not question authority or the majority. The goal was always to fit in. As I grew up this did not always sit well with me. I was (and still am) quite outspoken with strong opinions that are decidedly left. As you would expect, I had difficulty living in a conservative environment. I’m sure I made many people uncomfortable questioning their ideas and ways of life. And, even though I have since moved west, I still struggle with finding that balance in discussion with people I love but don’t necessarily agree with.