#1774 Soul Food

What soul food are you creating?

When I say soul food I'm talking about food that feeds your soul- its wrapped up in taste and smells and lovely memories. My mother made fresh soup everyday.   I love walking into a home where soup is being made.  I instantly feel welcome and safe.

But my mother also did things like occasionally pick me up for lunch and we'd sit in her car (I'm sure it was idling) and we'd eat McDonald's or KFC.  Consequently I am embarrassed to say this but I like Big Macs, fries, and KFC chicken.  I like them, however, because they are wrapped up in the memory of the special time with my mother.  We knew she was trying to give us a treat and the memory is special.

Today I do everything I can to avoid fast food because I recognize the ingredients at these places are probably not the same today as in 1979 and because I don't want my kids to have happy memories around these foods. So what memories will be yours?

When we are not busy having food adventures I'm very strict about making sure my kids eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. I hope their daily food will not only give them a lifetime of nutrition but I also hope they fill their soul.  I don't know if in the end what will constitute their soul food:  the mundane or the adventures.  Maybe it will be some combination of  both.  But I do try to be thoughtful about this as I plan out what goes in their bodies.

For Mother's day I'd like to thank my mami.  She was an amazing mother and showed us, among many things, her love of food in her own way.  She believed in making home cooked meals everyday, despite the fact that she didn't really enjoy cooking.  She was ahead of the times in that she believed in whole grains and we never were raised with wonder bread in our home.  She made sure there were plenty of daily fresh vegetables and fruits in our home.  She also did things like travel a great way for good food.  She would travel as much as 30 miles to go to farmers markets where she would find fruits and vegetables that were in season and she would stock up.  Then she'd make smoothies or freeze the bounty.  She'd also do things like drive 45 miles just to take me to have an authentic Cuban sandwich in Union City, NJ.

She was definitely ahead of her time regarding food and she just didn't know it.  So Mami thank-you for creating great food memories with me.  Thank-you for those soul foods I have today.  These meals when they touch my lips, they warm my soul because they remind me of your love and warmth.  

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