>A Blooming Palate [How the World Grows]

>One of the great things about living in Oregon, among many things, is the freshness and variety of local veggies, fruits and meat.

My palate has most definitely been challenged and has changed since living here in the best of ways.
Perhaps it is my infatuation with cooking shows and the lives of chefs that I find so intriguing — the people that devote their lives and stresses to making the best thing possible.

Food is a big part of who I am. My southern drawl comes out more when I talk about food. [Especially fried chicken, but that’s for another day.]
I generally enjoy a good meal – but especially find appreciation in a home cooked meal. Those require love, attention and time. They require putting thought into what the other person or persons would enjoy. That means a lot to me.

I love to watch others eat – I love to watch others enjoy what they’re eating. I think I got that from my Gran. Usually, as we would start eating dinner, she would look around at the table and say, “Is it good yet?” As we would always nod an agreeing, “Oh yeah, it always is…”
Food is universal. It speaks a clear language – one that curls the eyebrows to begin that disgruntled look that eventually ends in a satisfying grin. I love it.

Food speaks deeply into the history of who we are.

When we share a meal with others, we share our soul and our stories. You learned to cook from someone, or you at least watched – there is story in that. What was comforting about the way your mom or dad cooked? We all know our mommas make the best of everything.

I used to hate onions. Now, I love them. Especially those of the red variety. They’re not so good for breath, but in taste and moderation, can accentuate the flavor of whatever it seems to accompany.
I’m learning to love tomatoes. I still have a hard time fully enjoying the amount of water and mush it tends to bring to my palate – though they are some of the most beautiful and wonderful things ever to grow out of dirt. (Not to mention, somewhat easy to grow in a small backyard garden or in pots, as we have in the recent past. I believe it’s now time to plant those suckers…get to it!)

Mushrooms..hmm…well, I’m workin’ on em’. 🙂

I have a few cousins that refuse to eat lots of food. One being cheese…the other mayonnaise – understandably, mayonnaise but it is a wonderful thing. (Of course, in moderation…hah.) And also, some of the best Mayo in the world is Blue Plate and I believe that’s only a southern thing.

I would hope that we continually be adventurous with what we choose to consume. Start out small, and work your way into ordering the most bizarre item on the menu.

My hopes for all this ramblin’, is to somehow approach the idea that food is universally celebrated. In seeing how the poor invite you to their table and cook the most heartwarming and amazing meals you have ever eaten. It has to taste good — there is love and dignity in it — these lessons are a gift to us. When you eat on the smallest of budgets, you want it to taste good and you want to benefit from it in the best ways possible.

The world has so much to offer.
Our tables bring us community –

let us fill their seats with beating hearts, and empty stomachs.

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