I don’t know if Southern California is affecting our brains or what, but I looked in the fridge the other day, and found that the type of food that now resides there is totally different than anything I grew up eating. There are containers of coconut water, soy milk, almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, nitrite-free bacon, and more fruits and vegetables than a farmers’ market! A juicer, a grain grinder, and a VitaMix blender are living on my counter, and in the cabinet I find agave syrup, natural peanut butter, raw almonds, and coconut oil. The bread basket is full of sprouted organic bread, and the freezer is full of frozen fruit for smoothies.
I grew up with a traditional Midwestern meat and potatoes type of diet, and my husband grew up with mostly Italian food. As you would probably figure, our kids have always gotten a mix of the two. Until we moved to LA, that is. Before that, none of the above mentioned items (except for the fruits and veggies) were within a 10 mile radius of my house. How did this happen?
About a year after we moved here, Katherine started hanging around with some vegans, and the next thing you know, she swore off sugar and started experimenting with making her favorite dishes with agave or honey instead of sugar. She suddenly got a passion for Greek food, and started making her own pita bread, starting with grinding wheat berries for the flour. While she did not go totally vegan, she’s definitely influenced by these new friends.
Lisa found the Raw Brahs on youtube, and the next thing you know, she was a raw foodie. At least for a week. Then she remembered that pizza is her favorite food, so she added some cooked food back into her meals.
Michael got a job at a gym teaching fitness classes, so I now find protein powder along with dietary plans and workouts posted to the fridge, with the intention of turning us all into ripped savages.
Christina has become the queen of amazing sandwiches and pita pizzas. Lauren is the pasta boss. Amy, as much as she loves tacos, makes exquisitely beautiful salads, and Dani, bless her soul, makes the most amazing desserts and did an awesome Italian dinner a couple of nights ago. Alex rules at the BBQ and is growing an organic garden, and even Christian, Nick and Joey know how to make scrambled eggs and chicken soup (not together, of course).
I once read that the teenage years are the poetic years, a time of expressing oneself through music, poetry, prose, late night talks, etc. I think in this family, we can legitimately add food expression to that list. Fortunately for Mike and I, while it’s a little foreign and takes some getting used to, it’s actually pretty tasty, too!