Ugh! I think one of the worst things about moving is creating a routine again. Especially when your kitchen isn’t as set us as you’d like and the cable as yet been connected. Thank God for internet, because if it wasn’t for me being able to read the news, scour blogs and check up on things on social media sites, I’d go insane.
Where should I eat? Where should I go? What should I do? Apart from unpacking and looking for a job, I don’t have much else on my plate and it’s driving me nuts.
Its one thing to visit your old friends, but its another thing to reestablish the routine you once had with them back in the day as well.
I crave a sense of normalness again. May that time come here soon!
Almost a full decade ago, I stumbled upon the beautiful and captivating presence of Nigella Lawson on the Style Network here in the United States and not long after I found an online community within the website of her namesake. Although I was much younger than almost everyone on that site, I loved reading everything and anything that they had to say. Our love for Nigella and her carefree way of cooking was our initial bond, but what made the community stick was that everyone seemed to fully comprehend the definition of food culture. Nigella, with her articulated manner of writing and speaking, shared with us not just the recipes she’s collected from books or ones she developed in hopes of recreating a dish from a high-end restaurant in her native London, but those of her grandmothers’ from her youth in the 1960s and 70s.
Everyone on that forum came from somewhere else and even though many were from England as Mrs. Lawson, their roots were from elsewhere and thus it added to the bounty of recipes and stories shared from all over the world. American, English, Italian and the foods of Spain are not ones often considered to be “ethnic” to us in the U.S., but to others in places far away, they are. We all understood that was is normal to us is not to another and that the foods shared within our homes with our families and the traditions inherent to that home are as much a culture as the one right outside our front door.
Long before the Nigella.com virtual forum doors shuttered, we had already established a few private forums which are still actively running today and as a result, many of us have never lost touch. I may not participate as much as I use to, but I still like to sneak in there once in a while to see how they’re doing.
Starting tomorrow, I will have a few of those forum members share their stories and maybe a few recipes here and there too. My reason for this is to help define my blog purpose, as well as establish my definition of food culture. It’s not always about a fancy recipe or an incredible restaurant experience, but celebrating the foods that make us tick, the ones that help flood our memories with great moments from our past and the ones that hang onto the last remaining threads of who we are in a world that is constantly changing. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as me. So, tomorrow morning, be ready to grab a “cuppa” and get inspired.
*picture taken from The Guardian
Years ago, before ever having been to Los Angeles, I remember reading an article about Paul Rudd during his post Clueless fame where in his own words he stated something along the lines of, “Health food and Los Angeles is almost a contradiction in terms – there have got to be more donut shops per capita than anywhere else in America.” I think the article was published in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine years before it stopped loosing its shine (in my eyes, that is). Anyway, the second I landed at LAX, for the first time in my life, I remembered Paul Rudd’s quote. Fast food joint after fast food joint followed by donut shops like Spudnuts was all I saw. And so the day I heard that Beverly Hills was endowed with the first ever “cupcakery,” I wasn’t at all surprised.
Sprinkles Cupcakes opened on South Santa Monica Boulevard in 2005 to an ever happy crowd. Personally, I found this genius as I’ve always loved cake, but enjoying cake meant purchasing a whole cake and the idea of so much of the sweet stuff quickly turned the whole thing from joyful to dreadful as my imaginary pants got tighter at the thought (not that I’m so fit now, ha!). Apart from Hostess orange cupcakes and this one time when my aunt Cynthia bought my cousin Trey and I some Cookie Monster shaped cupcakes, cupcakes had never been a part of my life until now.
Although I’ve been to the Sprinkles in Beverly Hills, I was so incredibly happy when I heard of their New York City arrival. This city is filled with many cupcake bakeries, some good, some great, some horrifically awful, but I didn’t care – I just wanted Sprinkles. However, its took me a while to go to their Lexington Avenue shop. Recently I decided that I did need to get healthy, but not on a diet or any other fad, just in a realistic way that will take me a while, but hopefully will stay with me for even longer. Anyway, the second I went I was happy. I do find them to be a tad too sweet and I was disappointed in the fact that lemon coconut was not only topped with sweetened desiccated coconut, but was infused with cheap lemon extract. Even so, I’m just glad that they are made well in terms of technique. The frosting can be cloying, but the moist cake makes it worthy my while. Thankfully, the shop is far enough away from me that I can write about them, but gain no desire to go on an hour train ride to reach them.