My nieces, one of the sweet age of four and the other a terrifying age of 9 going on 16, are full of questions. There is one question, however, that I hear more often than the rest:
Aunt Elizabeth, why are you taking a picture of your food?
The question seems as absurd to me as I imagine a grown up taking pictures of everything she eats is to two children and, well, maybe to most other people, too. For the sake of my reputation as the cool aunt and in the name of brevity, I tell my nieces:
Because, it just looks so good, doesn’t it!?
The kind souls that they are, my nieces let me get by with a smile of agreement and have even come to ask me:
Aunt Elizabeth, aren’t you going to take a picture of that?
The full explanation for why I snap shots of a seemingly dull subject is this: Food to me is a memory. When I think of my days strutting in Paris, I think of the macaroons. When I dream back to old picturesque Bruges, I remember the fries I ate from a street vendor in front of Belfry Tower. On my 25th birthday I was surprised with a cake in Nashville and with another in Kentucky, the second being a tower of colors with frosting so rich we couldn’t bear it. Every Christmas Eve my family throws a feast of epic proportions called The Feast of the Seven Fish. This Easter we ate our way through four full courses even though it hurt after the second. Lemon Poppy Seed Chicken with mint on the fire escape of my New York apartment, Dad’s famous beef jerky (a favorite of the nieces), the roommate brownie venture that didn’t end well, burrata cheese and strawberries on a city rooftop with my dearest friend . . . the memories go on for a rich lifetime.
So, in the spirit of sharing those tiny bits that make up our stories, here is an homage to some of my favorite dishes. For all of you critics who detest the inane posting of last night’s dinner, this is especially for you.
Pictured above: crepes in France; fresh fruit and veges from the local farm; baseball game brats; festival brats; pizza in brat-country; Super Bowl sandwiches, Italian-style; The Hamburger Wall; Belgian fries in Belgium; summer corn with BBQ ribs; Homemade pizza; bachelorette party apps; pretzel stand on the border of France and Germany; and two attempts at feeding myself (brinner, and cheese and crackers).
Pictured above: homemade pizzelles for the holidays; that Kentucky birthday cake I mentioned; festival funnel cake; last cupcake on the last day in Europe; the Nashville birthday cake; Skittles for a The Hangover-themed party; Cadbury creme egg; Thanksgiving pie; and a pastry on the canals in Bruges.
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