Sometimes food is so much more for me, I almost hate that – because I eat more of it then! It’s not just nutrition. It’s emotion, and memories, and love to myself after a crazy day, or week. And most of all, when I cook it, the whole cooking process is peace at the end of a busy life.
Today, I had some weird cravings for not necessarily food, but just memories. I wanted to bring back my childhood and especially my maia, my mom’s mother. Not sure why. Maybe it’s just looking at the daffodils in my yard which she used to give me for my birthday every year – which is just around the corner. Maybe it’s because she died in April. Maybe because I have been dreaming of her so much… and that makes me miss her so.
So, I reconnected with her, through food …
I made sautéed mushrooms in garlic gravy, wrapped in phyllo dough, and sweet vanilla ricotta cheese wrapped in puff pastry. She used to make the latter as well as apple strudel almost every weekend. The house smelled so good, and we would always ask: “grandma, which one is which?!”. She used to say: “the lighter one is the cheese”. But they were both light golden in color, and we could never tell till the first bite.
Sweet, vanilla, ricotta cheese wrapped in puff pastry
The mushroom concoction is a popular street food in my home town – and that also brings me home. I used to just walk outside maia’s condo and just buy these in the street we lived on.
Garlic gravy mushrooms wrapped in phyllo dough
They both turned out delicious and my house smells like many Sundays long and gone. I will probably dream of days past and my happy childhood all night.
Rest in peace, sweet angel! And, as always, thank you for the memories.