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The Fundamentals of Italian Cooking Part 1: Emotion, Memory, and Taste

September 4th, 2017

In looking at the fundamentals of Italian cooking there are so many things to consider. To me it all seems to start and end with emotion, memory, and taste. Not classically trained in the culinary arts, I launched into Italian cooking via my emotions, memory, and tastes. It seems that most of us fall into this category. To this day I remember the first thing I made from my first Italian cookbook, Marcella Hazan’s infamous tomato sauce with onion and butter. The first taste blew me away and took me back to Italy. It sealed the deal for me. I had found what I was looking for… an avenue to create wonderful emotions, memories, flavors, and aromas for my family, friends, and strangers. By providence alone I stumbled upon this passion of mine, and I set off to learn Italian cooking.

It all started two years ago when I left our little town on Whidbey Island and moved to the mainland of Washington. The town of Coupeville, WA had a wonderful Neapolitan pizzeria called Ciao. My family and I dined there weekly and enjoyed the flavors and aromas of Italy being recreated in this small restaurant. The place was run by a warm and generous gentleman that attempted to create in America a real Neapolitan pizza joint (he was trained in Italy and even had his cooks trained there). The center of interest of course was the forno. The pizzas that came out of it were authentic. They elicited all of my fondest emotions, memories, and tastes from my travels to Italy. Eating there triggered memories of my mid-day quests for Italian pizza walking the streets of Roma, Firenze, Milano, Elba, and so on. When we relocated to Bellingham, I went in search of a comparable pizza. There were many fine pizza places that the locals raved about, but for me they fell short of evoking old memories, emotions, and tastes of real Italian pizza. I mourned the absence of what I experienced at Ciao and found myself making the near 2 hour trip back there just to get my fix. To overcome the commute, I took on the challenge of trying to recreate this gem in my own kitchen with a desire to create some lasting emotional memories for my girls.

Emotion

A favorite of mine in the culinary world is Patricia Gray; her writing is something I can get my teeth into emotionally. She is a lovely story teller of traditional Italian cooking that is filled with the raw emotion of the land, ingredients, and dishes. She says, in regards to the cooking of a traditional Italian meal, that ‘An emotional element is involved’– all the way from the hunting or gathering to the prepping, cooking, and serving of the meal- it is an emotional experience.

A meal really is an emotional experience. In the end, you and your family will either like a dish, a meal, or a restaurant based upon emotion. This includes your experience with the food, the service, the environment, and so on. The emotion that is related to that dish will remain! Just ask my kids… they still fault me for serving some 3 day old white fish that we all spit out on the first bite. To this day they are not too fond of white fish.

Yes, cooking certainly involves science and intellectualism. One should take time to learn and understand this side of cooking. However, science and intellectualism alone will only take you so far in the culinary world. One needs to move into the deeper realms of their psyche to explore the emotions related to food they are preparing. Otherwise, there is the risk that the dish may come out wrong, lacking, or worse yet, too ‘perfect’. Marcella Hazan said it best when she said that cooking must be more than just technique ‘because technique alone does not communicate anything.

Just think back to your favorite childhood dish, dinner, or holiday meal, and immediately your senses are flooded with memories and emotions. For me it will always be autumn when our small apple orchard was ripe for picking and my mom baked apple pies and strudels, and my family pressed homemade apple cider. Those memories, emotions, and tastes are locked away in my nostalgic memory bank. I can still smell the ripeness of the apples in the kitchen, the mixing of the dough, and the freshly baked pies cooling on the counter. I will always connect apples and apple pies with emotions of happiness, love, tenderness, and memories of me and my brothers devouring all of our mom’s hard work in mere minutes! Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and all of their fare were also deeply impressionable for me. What are your memories? Take some time and explore them. I would love to hear about them.

Memory

I love the word nostalgia when it comes to cooking, and think the two are always interconnected. Its definition is, a longing for things, persons, or situations that are not present (think holidays, birthdays, summer BBQ); and an even simpler definition, homesickness! It comes from a Greek word, nostos, meaning a return home. That is why nostalgia plays such an important role in cooking – it is in our genes, blood, psyche, and so on – humans have returned home each day to gather together and eat food.

There was even a scientific study that showed the power of cooking and memory by Baker, Karrer, and Veeck, in which they identified the ‘three nostalgia-related associations connected to recipes’:

  1. Recipes as part of ritual (holidays, sagras, healing)
  2. Recipes as part of family construction and continuity (generational passing down of family recipes, heirlooms, and bringing family together each night)
  3. Recipes as part of self (happy or memorable events from your childhood) and social/ethnic groups (Italian, Hispanic, Jewish)

So often, I find myself in the kitchen pondering what I should make this evening, and I seem to always find myself going to my memory bank looking for ideas I saw online or in a new book, things I tasted before at other restaurants, foods from a distant past when I last traveled to Italy, or even pulling on ideas from deep in the world’s sub-conscious. It is in the memory storehouse that I can pull forth the richness and history of a recipe, be it something I know by heart or something that is new.

Take for example, ragu alla bolognese. It originated from Bologna, Italy and the first documented recipe dates back to 1891. This dish is known throughout the world and evokes in almost everyone who has tasted it in its purest form such blissful memories of tagliatelle al ragu or lasagne alla bolognese. The cool thing about this dish is it has so much NOSTALGIA linked to it: it has been served at family gatherings and events for centuries, it has a myriad of different family recipes past down from generation to generation, and it is packed with an infinite amount of memorable memories across the world. That is a lot of nostalgia, in one simple dish that a cook can tap into and access if he or she is willing to!

I remember clearly making my first lasagne alla bolognese. I was in the kitchen almost the entire day making from scratch the ragu, b├ęchamel sauce, and noodles. The pure joy of serving something that I reached deep into to try and pull forth its long nostalgic past was exhilarating. Then when I heard my wife exclaim it is exactly how she remembers it being cooked by one of her old Italian boyfriend’s mother, I was elated. I had not only followed exactly the long detailed recipe of this dish, but I had brought forth a dish that evoked in someone the emotions, memories, and taste of something from the past.

Taste

Your taste buds are an expansive and powerful storehouse that once awakened, or utilized, will be one of your strongest allies in your kitchen. They can inform you immediately if something is fresh, good, off, old, stale, or even poisonous. When you taste something you are actually ‘touching’ with both your sense of taste and smell; and your sense of smell plays a very large role in your emotional realm of tasting and remembering. Try plugging your nose next time you go to taste something you are cooking- you may be surprised how lacking it is! Taste may trump everything you do in the kitchen and it is worth it to work at developing it- just don’t taste with your mouth though- SMELL everything, at every stage of its development. Give it some time and you will find your sense of taste/smell helping you out more and more. Finally, something to ponder upon: if taste is not one of the most important things in cooking, why does every recipe in the world state: salt to taste?

America’s Super Rich Look for Love Online

August 16th, 2017

Everyday more and more singles are now going online to meet their dream rich man or woman, there is no shame in seeking to date up. People pay thousands of dollars per year to connect with wealthy, established men and women every day. An unsaid taboo exists within our society about dating rich people. This taboo really is unfounded. People are not always after just money. In fact, dating a wealthy person means freedom more than anything. A lot of men and women want to date someone who can offer them freedom and the luxuries of living a nice life. We all deserve to have a nice life. There are many advantages that come with seeking a rich mate. For example, dating someone without a job can be an emotional disaster. First, it will cause tension between you and your friends or family. And it will, eventually, cause resentment and become a point of contention between the two of you. Men or women who make a little amount of money don’t aspire for much, either. You don’t want people talking about “poor you” in every literal sense of the word, do you? Of course not! Rich dating simply sets your goals high. You can find someone who you’re completely enchanted with and who also happens to have money.

Lifestyle is another advantage. Finding someone who you can connect with, and who can make your life easier with his or her wealth, is every persons dream. Stories revolving around this drive to thrive with a rich mate have existed for decades. Just look at Cinderella! The biggest issue between couples always starts with money. Infidelity comes in second place. Stress over bills, not being able to go out with friends, having to share a single vehicle, and so on aren’t what love is supposed to be about. Wouldn’t life be easier if you eliminated the formalities involved with secretly seeking a wealthy mate? Finding someone on a rich dating website is the simple acknowledgement of wanting a better life. You want to connect with someone who can capture your heart but who also offers stability.

Don’t think of using a rich dating website as “taboo”, its not. Really, it is a matchmaking tool that defines your expectations for a mate and then sets you up with potential candidates. Being rich is as much of a qualifying character as being tall, being Jewish, and so on. Don’t continue to struggle in relationship after relationship because you’re afraid to have it all in life. You can have your cake and eat it too!

Online Dating Personality Types – The Value in Variety

March 22nd, 2017

Dating singles online appear from assorted walks of life. All kinds of humans are searching for adulation online, whether macho or female, adolescent or old, shy or bold. They aswell appear from altered cultures and amount systems: Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim online dating circles abide all over cyberspace. This absurd basin of abeyant matches makes it a abiding bet there is anyone out there for you. Another assorted breadth is that of personality profiles. So… What blazon of being are you acceptable to acquisition out there?

The Getting of the Data

Researchers accept become in fact bedeviled with discussing the personalities of online dating singles. Research studies accept in actuality been agitated out to try and accept the types of personalities that attending for adulation online, the types that are a lot of accordant and added capacity like these.

According to Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who has anxiously advised internet dating, humans are admiring to others who accept a personality that is agnate to their own. Astonishingly, chemicals that advice actuate personality accept been begin in the brain. Even a claret analysis can actuate some locations of your personality. Fisher restrains from traveling this far but she does say that the personality tests on dating sites advice accompany humans accepting agnate personalities calm and appropriately are commendable efforts.

Researchers accept attempted to characterization personality types. Are you a director, architect or explorer? Are you a abettor or a giver? These and added labels are acclimated to allocate personality types on online dating sites.

The Humans Being and The Personal Person

A being who writes in all caps is in fact an extrovert. In typing, the use of all caps indicates shouting and this acutely agency that such a being is acquisitive to be found. Online extroverts like to ascendancy the chat and, if they like you, will ample up your inbox with belief about their alluring life.

On the contrary, introverts are shy and timid. Dating singles online works able-bodied for them because they are commonly abashed by the dynamics of absolute apple dating. Usually accepting abrupt profiles, such humans will advance alone basal chat until they in fact get to apperceive you.

The Judge

One of the added abhorrent personality types accustomed on dating sites is “the judge”. These are the humans who accept an assessment on in fact everything, which is aswell about consistently negative. JDC who says he has able opinions is an archetype of this blazon of personality.

JDC’s contour states that he “does not like women who allocution too abundant or anticipate too much… He calls these women “dorks” and says he will not acknowledge to them. Luckily, the actuality that JDC (his online nickname) is judgmental is axiomatic from his profile. What would a accord with JDC be like?

The One Who Watches Out

Plenty of online dating singles appear beneath the characterization of caretakers. Since they are so acclimated to demography affliction of their kids, individual moms tend to wish to affliction for anybody and everybody. Any being who says they like to be bare or can adapt in fact well, avalanche beneath the babysitter category. While you can be assured that such humans will angle by your ancillary through the toughest of times you charge to aboriginal adjudge whether you’ll be able to handle their connected attendance in approved life?

We can bigger accept this blazon of personality contour through the acquaintance of online users. As in the above-mentioned example, lets use the users nickname: LET34. LET34 met a archetypal babysitter personality blazon online. Anon into their communications, it became bright that she bare to feel wanted. LET34 initially enjoyed accepting anyone who cared for him. “However, it anon became a problem. Eventually if we started dating, she would get affronted if I bought my own groceries. She was appealing psycho about accomplishing everything,” complains LET34. Of course, the accord didn’t last.

These are alone the few a lot of accepted personalities on dating sites. Every being is unique, just like in the absolute world. If you actualize your contour accomplish abiding it accurately represents you. If including what you accede abrogating aspects, try to do so with some humour attached.

Variety in online dating makes it fun and challenging; but you can feel at affluence and absolutely adore just chatting with a being because clashing in the absolute world, there are no aboriginal date pressures. You can in actuality overlook about tomorrow.

Jewish Singles and Online Dating

February 21st, 2017

What is Jewish dating?

We accept Jewish humans from all over the world, aggravating to accommodated anniversary other, and acquisition a accomplice for life.

A lot of Jewish humans came from Europe, and are commonly referred as Ashkenazi.

Most of us European Jews and not so airy and religious, but we still wish to be calm a part of our own people. What does absolutely defines us a s Jews ?( I am, myself getting a Russian Jewish changeable ); do we absolutely chase the activity appearance as it is proclaimed in the Torah; or do we absolutely chase all of the traditions and laws? Do all of us absolutely accumulate kosher, and bless the Sabbath every Friday?

I accept to say, that a lot of of adolescent Jewish humans absolutely do not “match a archetypal Jewish profile”; we accede ourselves as “reformed”, and feel that our ability is array of altered; we are accustomed to do assertive things, and it is OK by everyone. It is like a appellation to be Jewish person.

Of advance there are a lot of religious humans out there, who absolutely accept the activity style, you and I can’t possibly lead; and those absolutely abide about their own communities, date and ally aural their environment.

However, for the a lot of of us, even admitting we are searching for Jewish singles, we do not wish to be with anyone who is “too” religious, or too conservative; that agency we can not do the things we like to do, like alcohol and party; and accept premarital sex…Right?

Most of us Jewish singles, do not even like anniversary added so much; guys anticipate that all Jewish individual girls are JAPs (Jewish American Princess); and the girls anticipate the guys are all “mama’s little shane punem”.Right? And, that there is no one out there acceptable abundant for him? Sounds familiar? Hah?

Yet, somehow we all wish to just date our own people, because it feels some of what safe, and comfortable. Not because you anticipate that Jewish babe or a guy will not aching you, or abandon you, or abort you the aforementioned way the “others” will do.

It is because we feel like we allotment our history, and our culture, and we accept to be able to get along, accept and adulation anniversary other, the way cipher can..

Unfortunately, we accept to apprehend the opposite, that our humans just as “human” and amiss as anybody else.

Jewish Dating Account just like every added online dating service, has it’s advantages and disadvantages; in one duke is it abundant because you feel like anybody is there Jewish and they apperceive absolutely how you feel and what you are searching for; and in the added duke you run in to a lot of Jewish singles, who are absolutely backbiting about themselves, who are just arena around, and not absolutely searching for their match.

I alone begin my Mr. Jewish Appropriate online on one of the Online Jewish Dating Sites, four years a go, and now we are affiliated and accept three year old child. And we are absolutely (I beggarly it) actual happy! Marriage, of advance is not easy, but if you are with the appropriate person, annihilation is possible, and you can accomplish things appear and be happy!

So, I do owe my afterlife to the internet, and online dating…I do believe, that if we, Jewish singles, accept our own dating sites, we charge to abutment the abstraction of authoritative it actual special, dupe and meaningful.

Let’s be honest with anniversary other, let’s acquaint like adults (not like little kids); let’s not column pictures of anyone abroad on to your profile, let’s not lie about our age, weight and size…. Let’s not overlook we are all appropriate and called people!

Coming from above Soviet republic, area Jewish adoration and ability was suppressed and about hidden, I acquisition it actual auspicious to be able to be accessible about your culture, to be able to bless your traditions, and to analyze with your heritage!

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