Do you remember your first memory with food?
During grad school, we were asked to respond to this question as a quick writing exercise. What would you write in response to this question?
Here's my response:
I have always loved cooking and preparing food. Within my immediate and extended family, this was and continues to be my reputation. When I was six, I prepared my fist plated “meal.” I noticed that my mother had recently purchased blueberry bagels from the market and I just had try one! As a way to find an excuse to eat them, I decided to feature this “fresh” produce in a delicious dish. I quartered the bagels, toasted them and then arranged them on a bright blue plate to allow the blueberries to aesthetically “pop.” I then searched the refrigerator for the perfect accompaniment to the bagels. I scanned the shelves until, “Aha, I found it!” – a cup of chocolate pudding, which was perfectly in arms reach of my short plump arms. I scooped out the contents of the cup and transferred the gelatinous pudding into a glass bowl which, was then centered on the plate. I was proud of my creation but recognized that it needed a little more color to round out the dish. So I found a bag of carrots, cut them into small pieces and sprinkled them on top of the bagels.
After the completion of the dish, I ran around the house proclaiming the magnificence of my creation. My family gathered into the dining room and sat down. I walked them through my story of inspiration and then unveiled the dish. I can still remember the laughing smile of my mother that I mistakenly confused with pleasure. This story is legend in my family and this was start of “Jojo creations” in the kitchen. I remember the success and pride I experienced on that day which led to my addiction to cooking and preparing food in the kitchen. This is the first memory I have of creating food and attempting to gift others with delicious flavors. I have since then learned a couple more tricks and thankfully no longer serve blueberry bagels with chocolate pudding.