Saturday, October 24, 2015

If you cook for 10, they will come!

Just like in the movie The Field of Dreams, there is no logical reason why people just come.  Some are invited and others are not; but by the end of the day the food is gone and everyone is happy--especially me.

I can not help it, whenever I decide to try out a new recipe or make a special recipe, instead of making just a couple of servings I start to multiply the recipe and end up making at minimum 10 servings.  It is a crazy habit,  so recently I put on my psychologist hat--I do have a degree in psychology--and began to ponder on the reasons for this crazy behavior.

Is it my Latino roots?  Latinos love cooking, love food, love feeding anyone that  comes by their home even if you are not hungry.  For Latinos, food is a token of their love.  However, we can probably say the same about Italians, Greeks, or many other cultures.

Is it my grandparents?  My parents come from very large families; my mom has 12 sibblings and my dad 11.   Although, only 5 of my 23 aunts and uncles live in the US.  My mom says that my grandmother used to cook for about 30 people everyday--the immediate family and her employees.  Can you image the size of the cooking pots or amount of the dishes that needed to be washed every day? My goodness!

Is it my parents?  We are a family of 5 so eventhought my sibblings have left the nest, most of the time my parents still make 5 servings just in case. Also when my parents decide to make some traditional dish from Ecuador--usually very intricate--my sibblings and their family always get an invite.  Moreover, like every loving parent, frequently, the end up cooking like 5 different dishes so everyone has their favorite and is happy; this behavior drives me nuts sometimes but I get it--everyone is happy.

Is it just me?  It has taken me about 7 years to learn how to cook.  They first years I just followed the lead of others---my parents or recipies I found; but now I think I have finally found my own voice.  I cook for 10. Why? Because sharing makes me happy. Also, because in all the years of training with my family--my parents, aunts  and uncles--led me into a secret.  When cooking to share, the regular rules for multiplication don't apply because love is involved.  For example, when you cook shrimp ceviche for 3 the recipe might call for 1 pound of shrimp per serving; but when I cook to share, I get about 20 hefty servings from 7 pounds.  Also when you cook to share, the blessings you receive, just like the number of servings you share, are exponentially multiplied.

If you want to try it, don't cook for 10, just cook to share!....and you will always get enough servings.

Happy cooking!  Pisa



Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Bucket List

Granted I came up with this Bucket List in my teens so some of the items were kind of crazy.  In my 20s I checked many items off the list: back-packing in Europe, riding crazy roller coasters, and running out of room in my passport for more travel stamps.  Then came my 30s and due to a health scare, I checked some items off the list not because I did them but because I considered they were too risky.

Here comes 2015 and basically I went over the scary-cat hump I was stuck in and started to rethink about those items in my Bucket List I removed.  Were they really that risky or was it just an excuse I created?  I started planning again for the perfect conditions to get them done--controlled risk and right fitness level.  The day I found myself bungee jumping or canopying/zip lining was in no way the day in which conditions were perfect.  In fact, I kept telling my sister-in-law "I'm completely out of my comfort zone" over and over as I stepped off the ledge.  In my head I kept picturing my young self as I wrote the Bucket List and put my logic/fears/excuses aside and just let go.

In my Bucket List, 3 items remain: visiting Greece, balloning and sky diving.  Since I'm almost done I have started my Bucket List #2.

Pisa