Food makes me happy. Good food makes me happier. I admit, maybe a bit too happy, because I think about it a lot. The thing about food is you can’t just eat it once a month and call it good. As a wife and Mom, I’ve spent a good many hours of my life contemplating food. I sympathize with those people, whether woman or man who have this responsibility. If you break it down, figure 10 hours a week (which may be conservative) for shopping, planning and preparing. That’s 40 hours a month and 480 a year, or drumroll please, 17,280 hours over the last 36 years! That doesn’t even include time spent eating. For many, eating and helping others eat is not just an afterthought.
So, it’s easy to understand, and some of you can relate, why it’s just a part of us now and why cooking shows are so popular. Food and eating are both cheap entertainment, necessary and something we can share with those we love. Food can be fun as well as delicious. I love being creative with food as well; charcuterie boards, making animal and face pancakes with the grandkids, making tamales with my family, having BBQs, potlucks, family chili cookoffs (our son won the prize) and even trying to make sushi with the whole family. There’s something so gratifying about a family member saying “Wow, Mom (or Grandma) that was so good!”
My husband and I consider ourselves foodies with discerning tastes. We take food seriously and always have thought our paying job should be as secret tasters in restaurants, but nobody, as of this writing, has hired us for such. We especially like to try different foods and restaurants and cannot plan a trip without considering the local offerings. Even if it’s just camping, we are planning a menu and nobody is starving.
When we went to the beautiful state of Alaska, we had to try the fresh seafood. When we went to London, we had to have the fish and chips and meat pies. In Jamaica, of course the jerk chicken, and in Belize, the conch. It’s educational as well as a tasty experience.
Years ago, we traveled down the coast of Oregon, which is one of our favorite travel destinations. We decided to liven it up by making a competition out of it- you know, like the TV shows. Only nobody knows who we are, cares about our opinions, and the winners get absolutely nothing out of it. Being the coast, it would of course be a clam chowder competition. In every town we would sample the chowder and declare the winner and champion.
We traveled down from the top of Oregon and tasted clam chowder in Lincoln City, in Newport and Florence. We love these towns and there are great restaurants along the way. One of our favorite places is in Newport and it’s overlooking the ocean. It’s called Georgie’s. It has great food and I love their Fisherman’s stew. We also like to go to the family friendly restaurant chain called Mo’s. It has good chowder served in a bread bowl and you can order it with a serving of bay shrimp put on top. If you go to the Oregon coast, you also have to stop at Cannon Beach, which has a street with great shops, restaurants and is walking distance to the beach.
We continued along and tasted some good chowders and also some very bland, pasty, floury chowders. Then we ended our trip at the bottom of Oregon in a town called Brookings. Even though it was the end of the state, we decided to complete our tasting by going in a little place at the marina. I’m afraid I don’t even remember the name of the place. We also ordered fish and chips. To our surprise, they had the best tasting chowder and also fish and chips out of the places we tried, which was only about 6. Also, to our surprise, they were excited when we announced that they won!
Sometimes even with simple ideas, comes unexpected results and great times. By looking for the good, doing something we both love and also by involving food it turned into an unforgettable vacation.