Heavenly Mother, bless this food
Food has always been a central matter in my family. Not only is my dad a cook, but my mom stayed a year at an old fashion house keeping school where they learnt to sew and weave, pluck, debone and prepare chickens, bake crisp bread and cook traditional food.
It wasn’t new to her as she grew up in a family that was more or less self sustainable. My grandpa was a hunter and every year by this time there would be deers hanging on the white painted corners of the red wooden house, that he, himself had built. The freezer would be packed with boxes of parboiled and prepared wild mushrooms and the fridge would have jars of home made blue berry and lingon berry jam and glass bottles left since summer of strawberry juice. Till this day I have never had better juice.
Throw my mom a piece of meat and she will do miracles with it. Come to a buffet party at my dad’s and there will be food enough to feed an American football team.
Why I started thinking of all this, is because yesterday I met with Ursula, my “third” grandma (long story short, everyone in my family is divorced, so I have extras of everything)
It was a chilly Stockholm day. I was wearing my ruby red coat and brown leather boots (why am I telling you this? Well, just so you get an idea of how “autumny” it was). We went into a restaurant called Zink Grill on Biblioteksgatan. It was a cozy, candle lit place with mustard coloured cloths, the exact same tone as my sweater. We ordered veal stake, mashed potato and gravy and a good, red wine (She always insists on ordering the same dish as me, to match the wine. She is cute like that)
Our conversations are so precious to me. Probably because I don’t have them with anyone else. We talk about art exhibitions, politics (to some degree), culture, Pakistan (she used to live there, working for the ministry of foreign affairs) and of course, food.
After dinner it was therefore only natural to continue on the subject and go see “Julie and Julia”, weaving together two stories of two women of different times, sharing a passion for cooking. Needless to say, the whole movie is one long food orgy.
When I got home I felt inspired, so I made oven grilled root veggies with goat cheese and fresh thyme to bring to lunch the next day.
While singing along to Carmen Consoli’s “Parole di Burro” I remembered the first dinner at Paolo’s family’s balcony, a still, hot summer in Rome, ten years ago.
The spaghetti and home made pesto was heavenly, just like his mother was an angel.
We blessed the food and the evening. I didn’t understand so much of what they said at that time but smiled nevertheless. In fact, that was all I could do.
I have had amazing food at various restaurants around the world, but there is nothing, nothing, that tops a simple supper made with love, enjoyed in good company.