Cooking inspirations begin on a a multitude of levels for me. Some are deeply personal while others are stemmed from loving good food. More than good food; great food. Foods I can’t walk away from and have to have that last bite when I know it’s going to put my stomach over the edge. Even the aromas that arise from the simple act of opening a jar can satisfy me. Yes, I’m a foodie but my main inspiration is the aroma, taste and my family.
The aroma of a food inspires me greatly. Whether it’s from a jar of pesto or crushing fresh garlic there is nothing like a good smell to entice me. Certain items also inspire me because they remind me of my younger years. My mother’s Korean den jang soup was so strong it could be smelled before we even entered the house. Although we always joked of its strong smell the aroma alone offered comfort and homeyness.
Comfort also adds to the flavor of all the foods I cook. Although I’m not a believer in emotional eating there is nothing like a comforting meal for a hard day. The level of comfort is different for each person and what I cook will depend on that. For example; pan cakes with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream always comforts no matter what time it is.
Whether it’s a tasty treat or a full entree nothing is better savored than a delectable meal. Different foods that compliment each other are always interesting as well as fulfilling. The texture of food is equally important. Combinations like the creamy taste and texture of smoked gouda cheese paired with crisp black grapes are a favorite for that reason. Whether its smooth, rough, soft or hard the texture has to suit my palette.
Of all the things that inspires me the most when I’m cooking it’s my family. From the time I was a child until I had my own children my fondest memories are of my family having nightly and holiday dinners. Every dinner was a social event in my childhood homes. My parents would make us turn off the television and we would chat, argue, laugh and cry over dinner. It was our time together and now I try to do the same with my kids. Each meal I share with my children isn’t just about the inspiration of the food but of the moments that we enjoy with each other.