- People ask me how old I was when I learned to cook, which is not the right question. At 29, I am still learning how to cook. The right question is when did I learn that cooking food for people gave me satisfaction. I was thirteen. Under the kind supervision of my grandfather I’d made a whole chicken for my family. And when my family leaned back from their plates, every one wiped clean, it was (and still is) a highlight of my life.
When TJ and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, there was a little restaurant about a mile away called Roliberto’s. Located in a sketchy strip mall, on the outside it was nothing to look at, but inside, the most magical things happened in the kitchen: burritos brimming with succulent carne asada and guacamole, tacos and nachos, no sour cream to be found. We ate there when I didn’t feel like cooking, when it was the weekend or just because it was freaking delicious. Continue reading
Fresh from the hot oil, crisp on the edges and covered in white powdered sugar. Eaten standing up or sitting perched on the edge of a shaky wooden bench. Napkins bunched in one hand, stuffed in the back pocket or dropped in haste for that first sweet bite. The sun is high or fading into darkness. Clouds of sugar around your face. White streak across your left cheek. Left hand warm from palming the paper plate. I think I love you.
My favorite food is a fair staple. Fairs mean late summer or early fall. People go in groups, get on rides with questionable safety standards, walk around, and eat food they would never eat otherwise. I associate my favorite food with happiness, with friends and family, with joy. Continue reading