Thursday, August 5, 2010

Simple Meals - A Flavorful Life

I've learned many things from my Grandpa Romero. Perhaps the most important is truly valuing the simple things life has to offer; family, friends and good food. Thankfully, he's been surrounded by all three throughout his life.

His food memories are vivid and shared with passion.
Whether it's bringing to life a bowl of oatmeal from his childhood (topped with salt and butter), a roasted chicken from his Mother's kitchen, raw clams from a family reunion, or describing in detail the hearty lunches my grandmother prepared for him while working at the steel mill, his stories bring you back to a point in time when particular foods (and the people who prepared them) brought flavor to his life.

This ability to tie fond food memories to feelings of being cared for, loved and celebrated, allows him to appreciate flavor over lavish ingredients, simplicity over complexity.
It isn't uncommon for my Grandpa to sit down to a PLATTER of corn for a mid-August dinner. He will eat corn - only corn. Because it's what is good and flavorful. Why fill up on chicken, when you can eat chicken any other night of the year? And he doesn't lather it with butter. He thinks it muddles the sweet flavor. I think he's right.

He has also been known to skip dinner on a hot summer night and treat himself to not one, but TWO black raspberry ice cream cones. Because black raspberry ice cream is delicious, and it tastes best eaten outside when you need to compete with the heat to consume it. He likes vanilla as well, or maple walnut if he's feeling sassy. "Who dropped a candy bar in my ice cream?" he exclaims with a sly grin when presented with any other flavor. A purist? Yes. Picky? Possibly.

This is also the man (along with my parents and grandmother) who introduced my sisters and me to the "indoor picnic". Many holidays - long, laborious hours in the kitchen were traded for an extensive list of cheeses, sausages, produce, and artisan breads to be grazed for hours. (How very ancient Rome of us... ;)

Many cooks today are famous for doing what both my grandparents just inherently know...cook good food, with great ingredients, and you'll produce satisfying meals that family and friends can build memories around.

This summer meal was inspired by in-season vegetables, on-hand ingredients and by my Grandpa, lover of all things simple and delicious.

Easy Summer Dinner
Scrambled Eggs (with fresh herbs):
5 large eggs
Dash of cream
Tiny pinch of salt
Tiny dash of garlic powder
Scattering of fresh herbs
Whisk together and cook on med heat in frying pan with 1 tbsp butter - slowly scrapping down pan until desired texture.

Fresh tomatoes, sprinkled with salt, fresh herbs and vinaigrette

Corn on the cob cooked in boiling water with a tablespoon of sugar (approx 10 mins)

Fresh bread - the best you can get your hands on



  1. Lora, I think I saw this meal in action, when I picked up Ethan. Looks Great! I'm sure it tasted Great!

    My Grandmother's motto was do the best you can with what you have! That was always things from her garden or what she had canned early that year.

    Maybe we will be smart grandparents some day! ;)

    Grandparents are pretty smart!

  2. Thanks for the great writting Lor.
    I can't wait to show this to Gramps & Gram.
    Your an artist!

  3. Your Grandparents sound like wonderful people---and spot on on how to live a truly fulfilling life! They passed these lessons on well with you girls!
    Hope you are well, L to the D, and your family (sisters, husband, daughter, nephew--everybody!)

    Merry X Mas my friend and Happy New Years!! Looking forward to meeting up again soon! Stopping by Barbs this Thursday afternoon--I will tell her you say hi!

    Love love love all of your projects and digital domains!!

    Take care pal!