Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tasteless

I had absolutely no sense of taste for two weeks thanks to the horrible cold this little man shared with me. I adore my grandson, Isaac, but he could have kept this nasty virus for himself. If he felt as bad as I did, I don’t know how he managed. It was very strange to have no idea what you are eating, except for the texture.

Since I haven’t been cooking or enjoying food for a while, I’ll give you an update on what our budding little foodie, Isaac, is up to. He is really loving his fruits and vegetables (except green beans). We went to SoCal over the weekend again so I could spend my last weekend before starting treatment playing with him. We played and played and played.  I loved feeding him lunch and dinner every day. He thoroughly enjoys food. Saturday night his menu consisted of:

      Appetizer – half an avocado mashed – he loves avocado. I call him my guacamole guy
      First course – baby spinach salad (pureed spinach, pears and apples) – kudos to him for eating this mushy green mess. I’ve been trying to drink some pureed greens to increase my green vegetable intake and it isn’t easy!
      Main course – applesauce
      Dessert – minced mango

At eight months, he still gets most of his nutrition from mom and a little formula, but he is going to town with the food. He also loves sweet potatoes and butternut squash, neither of which his parents eat. I’m proud of them for preparing organic fresh fruits and vegetables that they don’t even like. I did warn them they’ll need a good answer when he wants butternut squash soup for lunch and asks why they aren’t having it too.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that we ALWAYS get Paciugo gelato when we visit the kids. Sometimes we stop there twice it's so good. This time, Elyse decided since Isaac is now eating yogurt and has no issue with cow’s milk, he could join us in gelato. He loves berries, so she ordered wild berry gelato for him. He wasn’t used to the extreme cold, so the first bite was a bit of a shock. But after that, he just couldn’t get enough. He grabbed her elbow and propelled it toward him like a little machine when she didn’t shovel it in fast enough. That’s my boy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Matter of Taste

I have been seriously neglecting my blog lately. I haven’t felt much like writing. Or cooking. My biopsy results weren’t good and I start another round of immunotherapy in two weeks. On top of that, I’ve had a nasty cold and cough that has completely obliterated the functionality of my taste buds. You could feed me hot dogs or brussel sprouts or anything else I won't normally eat and if I closed my eyes, I'd never know.

But a couple of weeks ago, I did attend an interesting seminar focused on taste. It was a wine descriptor seminar at J. Lohr Winery. I’m always trying to find a way to improve my ability to detect and describe the flavor, aroma and bouquet of wine and this class was a great way to learn and practice.

We started the evening by identifying the different areas on the tongue where flavors are detected by using the same wine “spiked” with bitter, sweet, salty and sour. Next we had the opportunity to smell the same white wine with a multitude of different individual added ingredients that you might detect in the smell of a white wine, such fruits like lime, grapefruit, pears, apples, mango, and pineapple, vegetables like asparagus and spices like vanilla, sage, curry and dill. You get the idea. Then we had four distinctly different white wines for tasting for which we attempted to describe their aroma, bouquet and taste based on what we had learned.
By this point I was overwhelmed. But we still had the same process to go for the reds. The additions to the red wines included fruits like cranberries, strawberries and currants, as well as chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, black pepper, green pepper, olives, green beans and many, many more. We then tasted and described four red wines.

My nose and my tastebuds were saturated by the end of the night, but it was a very informative class. Some people had been there up to three times to practice honing their skills. I can see why. I have a long way to go.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hooray! Published Again

When I began my blog, I had no idea I would become a member of a community, meet other bloggers there and take photographs of food on a regular basis. My intent was to write about food. Now, almost a year after my entry into the blogsphere, much has changed. I’ve returned to work, I’m challenged daily by the amazing photography on other sites and the community has become a part of my life. But I still love to just write. So occasionally I submit something for publication elsewhere. And I’m pleased to announce that Smithsonian has accepted another of my essays for their excellent blog, Food & Think. There’s nothing like seeing your name in print.

So I hope you’ll take a moment to check out their blog and read my essay in response to their call to write on the topic of dating. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner is a story of how the food on a first date changed our lives forever. I hope you will enjoy it.