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As I was thinking about what I could illustrate for the Fave Memory challenge, one thing kept spilling out onto the sketchbook. My brainstorming was full of things my husband and I have cooked together with our family in the past thirteen years. I decided to play a little bit of a Newlywed Game with Josh, and I texted him to ask what some of his favorite things were to cook together.
Tacos were almost top of the list for both of us so I ran with it! The best part of cooking with my husband is when we crank up the music, and we hang out in the kitchen working together. It's super relaxed, and his wonky work schedule means it's not something that happens all the time so it's pretty special to me. I let him lead, and I answer him with lots of "yes chef!" as he asks for this onion to get chopped or that lettuce to get washed while he cooks up the hamburger meat. And when all the ingredients are ready, taco night feels like a party in our house. We put all the ingredients in small bowls on the table, and our kids have a blast building their perfect tacos!
My Fave Memory with food is the day my significant other and I traveled almost 300 miles to meet in New York City. With a long distance relationship we don’t see each other often, so we make it count when we do! A few hours before the concert we planned to attend that night, we both got hungry and decided to look at our delivery options, which were far and few in between unfortunately. Against my significant other’s will, who doesn’t like pizza, we took to the little pizza place across the way as a last resort. It wasn’t until after we ordered two slices that we realized they were bigger than our heads! The biggest slices of pizza I’ve ever seen - we definitely could have split one! But, being that we were headed straight to the concert after dinner, we had to finish both slices no matter how big they were or how much my significant other hated pizza! I, however, personally think it was a delicious slice of pizza, and a time I will never forget!
Make something you want to eat, but will also be the envy of your cats. Berry Taiyaki! It's essentially a sweet berry pancake made in the shape of a fish. Taiyaki comes in many flavors, but who could possibly resist some refreshing berry blends? It's very simply to make, and taiyaki pans are easy to buy online or at your local Asian grocery market. (keep those furry kitchen helpers out of the way though, or you might be missing a few taiyaki!)
FAVE MEMORY: One of my favorite things about my husband is the joy he gets from lavishing love on our little family. A few years ago he surprised me with a 3-layer chocolate cake for Valentine's day. It was not the most refined-looking cake and my kitchen was never the same after that day (despite the fact that I'm a messy cook myself!), but every bit of cake batter we cleaned up just reminded me how hard he'd worked on such a sweet, extravagant surprise.
(Fave Memory) When I was small, my mom would make angel food cake. I remember the delightful smell of it baking, and I definitely enjoyed sneaking tastes of batter and whipped cream. I'm not sure I helped at all, as I was probably too busy drawing with crayons!
One of the memories I was trying to capture in this illustration was my Grandma Vida baking her famous and certainly most delicious apple pie in the world.
I have translated my Slovene recipe, which is good, but there is no way I can make a pie as good as she used to.
It was Thanksgiving at the farm. Since I fancy myself to be a baker, I volunteered to make the pumpkin pie. The meal proceeded nicely, and then came desert and the awful realization that I forgot to add the sugar to the pie filling! Oh, well, the chickens deserved a nice Thanksgiving, too, right? So we gave the pie to the chickens. Despite the fact that they frequently eat raw squash, every single one politely declined their Thanksgiving treat!
Fave Memory - My mother was 5 years old when she left Sweden to come to live in Italy with my grandmother. New life, culture, recipes and a different language, she soon forgot Swedish and grew up like a real Italian girl.
There is a recipe, however, that has helped to maintain a link with her origins and it is the preparation of Pannkakor, or as we call them in our family, the "Pankoka" name invented by my mother child. From my grandmother to my mother, from me and my sisters to our daughters (yes we are all girls! ;) ) the time to prepare and then enjoy the "Pankoka" becomes a small, although simple, event of celebration to our Swedish origins.
This memory goes back to 1979 when my aunt and uncle were married in northern Michigan during that magical week between Christmas and New Year's. She was beautiful and wore a simple white dress; instead of flowers, her hands were concealed in a white fake fur muff. He was so handsome in a dark green velour tux. I don't remember if there was a cake, but there was a desert table, on which the bride had made a wreath constructed of leaf-shaped cutout cookies. I took the liberty of adding wedding bell cookies.
Fave Memory: Every fall, my parents would take our family to Patterson's Fruit Farm. It became a family tradition for us (like for so many families in Northeast Ohio). And now I happily continue this tradition with my children. Fall = Patterson's, apple picking, waiting in line for apple fritters & pie and buying cider to enjoy at home! Everything about it makes me smile :) Highly recommend for fall fun and lasting memories.
Our pets have always been our muses, but it was my sister who suggested that we make Zinger (older Golden Retriever) and Officer Mike (Mini Schnauzer) cutout cookies, though our dog pack has grown since that day. For the outlines, we used both the "trace around an image" strategy as well as the "fashion a permanent cookie cutter from hardware" method. Each method worked equally well. But our biggest discovery was that black frosting is quite inedible - yuck!
This is an old recipe I translated from French.I still own the original piece of paper on which my Mémé (grand-mother) wrote the recipe. She used to make those delicious truffles, she always had a jar of them in her fridge and I just loved picking one truffle every so often ..... "Fave Memory"