One of my earliest conscious memories is food related.
It is of a vast sea of shiitake mushrooms, stretching out forever and ever before my eyes. I think I must have been around 2 years old when I saw this, and the bounty of shiitake caps was probably just a boxful of them.
I remember the last meal we had in our old house in Hachioji, a suburb of Tokyo, before my mother took my sister Mayumi and me to London to join our father. It was a spaghetti salad, with slivers of ham in it. I still can taste the slight sourness of the mayonnaise dressing, and the sight of the empty living room, with just the black telephone sitting on the floor. It was my first experience of leaving something behind, and that sour taste still reminds me of the sadness I felt in my 5 year old heart.
Later on, when I was 8 and my mother took us on a 2-week, multi-country coach holiday, the strongest memories I have are of standing on the curvy staircase of the Laurentian Library in Firenze (Florence), gazing awestruck at some painting on the wall, and of the melting, wonderful goodness of a lasagna that was served at dinner.
Food has been a source of joy and enjoyment for me; something to excite and titiliate, something to turn to for solace and comfort. The flip side of it is the effect of too much of a good thing on ones body. I've dieted on and off almost all my life, as I know many women have. And I've seen, and experienced, the adverse medical effects the improper intake of food can cause. I've never gotten to the point of hating food, but I've sometimes thought of maybe leaving it for another love.
Yet, I always come back to food. Whether it's caviar on blini, fresh sashimi, a simple omelette made with fresh farm eggs and good butter, or a bowl of hot rice with a pickled plum - I love good food.
So welcome to my food blog. I hope you enjoy your stay.
Addendum, March 13, 2005: The origins of the site name and sub-title are explained The origins of the site title . Yes, they are from M.F.K. Fisher, who is an inspiration to me.