Cookies and Pie

Talking about Food

I have to wonder, sometimes, why it seems like I talk about food and cooking so often. From a conversation with a coworker about making sausage (which segued into how much we love our Kitchenaid mixers), to a moment spent teaching a millennial how to make vanilla extract… Yes, that last was standing at the checkout in the grocery store. He’d asked for my ID for the vodka and wine I was buying, which to a woman of a certain age is more flattering than annoying, and I’d commented while he was entering my birthdate that it was funny to be carded for alcohol I wasn’t going to drink. He looked at me with wide eyes. “You’re not going to drink the vodka?” No, I told him, I’m going to make vanilla extract. He’d never heard of such a thing, so I gave him a thumbnail sketch of how to make vanilla, and lemon, extracts. I went on my merry way, and he’ll probably never use his newfound knowledge, but he was very interested in the concept.

I do this all the time. Get into a conversation with someone, and the topic turns to food. Whether it’s actual discussion of recipes, or just talking about methods of cooking, or… it’s a universal. Far more interesting than the weather, usually, and fascinating in the diversity of sub-topics. We’ve had far-ranging conversations about fruit cake, for goodness sakes, which veered into anthropology and discussing poverty and food preservation. Also, C-ration fruit cakes, which some of us actually liked… but I digress, as I so often do.

It’s not like we’re all obsessed with food. It’s simply that there are a few things in life we must all do, and some aren’t polite to discuss in company. We all eat. And more of us care what we’re putting in our mouth than the few who simply consume fuel and don’t care. So when we converse, it’s perhaps inevitable that we wind up talking about food.

Which is, in a way, why I do food on the blog so often. Not only is it a frequent topic in my everyday life, it’s an easy topic here – I have to cook, after all. While I don’t cook as often as I’d like, in reality, when I do it’s fun to prepare something I can photograph and use here – killing two birds with one stone, as it were. I’ve been lax on that for a few months, with the move, and all the turmoil that it entailed. Now that my kitchen is taking shape again, I’m looking forward to finding the time to bake and cook and take pictures to share.

And in person, I look forward to many years more of talking about food, and learning from friends, family, and even complete strangers about new and different ways to do things.


10 responses to “Talking about Food”

  1. I only eat on two occasions – by myself and with others. πŸ™‚

  2. I end up in those kind of conversations in the grocery store myself.

    1. Happens fairly often for me. I usually enjoy them, too!

    2. In a recent conversation, someone asked what “sopes” were. I gave a capsule history of using pieces of hard, dry bread to hold, and soak up, sloppy wet food, back to medieval dishes with the word “sops” in the title.
      There’s probably a connection with the Spanish “sopa”, usually translated as “soup”.

  3. Draven Avatar

    yeah, I’ve been carded recently too, a lot of stores seem to be moving to a ‘card everyone’ policy.

    (this is in leiu of c4c)

    1. Oregon started doing “stings” where they sent people who are closer to 40 than 21 in with fake IDs that say they’re 18 about ten years back. My sister got caught in one where they sent in a “couple” where she thought it was a mom and her son.

      I bet the tactic spread.

  4. I went on my merry way, and he’ll probably never use his newfound knowledge, but he was very interested in the concept.

    I’d take that bet.
    He might end up using it to make infused vodka– there are some interesting recipes for alcoholic tea I really want to try, but I keep getting pregnant RIGHT before I end up having the time for it.– but it’s the kind of thing that is both cool and simple enough in logistics that he can go “I’ll just use this empty jar and stick it in the back of the fridge.”

    1. Well, since he was more interested in the lemon extract – yes, that’s a good probability. I keep forgetting about doing that, because I don’t actually drink that much. The wine was for another recipe – I’ve been asked to restart ETWYRT πŸ˜€

  5. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    “Food, glorious food.” (Yep, I went to YouTube and listened to the entire song)
    We are still using the home made vanilla extract a friend gifted us, and when we use it up we will have to try making our own.
    I look forward to reading whatever you post.

  6. Last year I made a batch of liquid smoke, using twigs and leaves of lavender. Very yummy smoke flavor.