Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chef Boyardee

The weekend is usually the time when I like to test my cooking skills. I come from a family where food has always been “the” most important thing like…ever. It was always about cooking and eating and then cooking some more and stuffing your face until you were basically unconscious. We all loved to spend time in the kitchen and my earliest memories in life are always food related. My mom never believed in buying prepared stuff, so everything was made from scratch, from the pizza dough to the fresh pasta and honestly, would you expect any different from and Italian family?
Anything available to human kind that is already packaged was never good enough for my mom (grandma and great grandma who started the tradition) and it just didn’t taste the same.
Christmas and Easter turned into this huge food marathon where we would start cooking 2 days before, depending on how many people would be attending. We would be “on a diet” for the whole week so that you’ll have enough space in your stomach to eat the whole country of China and then some more. Then there was the “post-holiday diet” which mostly consisted in eating all the leftovers for about 2 weeks afterward. On each and every single day of these 2 weeks, my mom would always complain that a) we didn’t eat enough and we always look too skinny (God bless her! To the day I could be 200 lbs and still look like I need an IV asap); b) our guests were “amateurs” and didn’t really know the meaning of enjoying a holiday feast; c) she would bitch and moan constantly on how she hates eating leftovers; d)…finally! she would sheepishly admit that she cooked waaaay to much food.
It didn’t really matter though, because the following year she would do it all over again.

So I basically grew up in the kitchen, messing around with food since I was born. You know how normal kids usually play with “play dough?” Well, I didn’t have any of that…I had pizza and pasta dough! I think I made my first tortellino and raviolo when I was about 2 years old…how about that Mario Batali?
I guess it’s just natural to me to keep the family tradition and cook as much as I can. So on the weekends I become Chef Boyardee and cook for Luca an incredible amount of food to be frozen and enjoyed during the week. I buy a whole bunch of organic vegetables, steam them and then pureed them in the food processor. Once they are all creamy and smooth I put them in clean ice trays and then freeze them. It’s unbelievably easy to take 2 or 3 cubes out for lunch or dinner and let him enjoy the freshness of mama’s cooking on the spot.

DCP: Luca’s favorite fruit combination is: banana, papaya and mango. I usually mix them all together and freeze it in the ice cube tray. It’s also a great snack for you, healthy mommy. Mix a couple of cubes in some plain yogurt and you got yourself and instant smoothie. Yummy!

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