My relationship with food is very… dysfunctional, to try and sum it up in a word and well like all dysfunctional relationships we hold on to it, with all our might.
It’s a sorta love – hate dynamic. I can’t precisely pin point a moment when it all began, for me it began way before me, and it will be there far beyond I am gone or remembered.
My family its big on reunions, its the backbone of our daily lives. They (on my mother’s side) work together, get together after work and see each other on weekends. It still baffles me how they find things to talk about. In every picture from me growing up and before that, three things are common: 1) everyone (plus some friends) is gathered around either a dinner table or a terrace, 2) there is food and drinks at the table and 3) everyone seems to be having a good time.
Later in life would I understand that beyond any trifle problem it may have been going on, the minute we sit down to eat, all seems forgotten.
I grew up with my grandmother, who for someone who grew up in a rather modest household found inspiration in her french/dutch heritage and developed some very nice cooking skills. From as long as I can remember I was there in the kitchen, asking, helping, tasting and most importantly eating.
That lead to a teenager who was passionate about food, good food (I am proud to say I was never much seduced by fast food crap, as much as peer pressure demanded) packing more than a couple of extra pounds.
Here’s where we sorta fell apart. My mom kept trying to make me go on diets. Terrible diets with short minded individuals that call themselves nutritionist. I now know that for one to eat healthy food it does not automatically mean “diet” food or what’s the same, crappy food. And those were some ill-awful years. I don’t think I ever did binge eating, but I did eat behind her back, screw that.
Fast forward to now. To be honest I’m just coming to terms with how I relate to food, and what it is and how I’m able to enjoy it (about 6 years ago). Most of those extra pounds less and instead with that sorta naive wonder that I used to have when I was 5 – 6 years old walking around a kitchen with countertops higher than myself. That sorta apetite for trying new flavors and experiences, which I hope leads me to uncharted food territories in a sort of No Reservations (Bourdain’s style) kind of adventure.