Jody Adams' passion for food began at her family's dinner table. Her mother relied on traditional New England staples during the holidays, such as standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding at Christmas and baked salmon with peas on the Fourth of July. But, for other special celebrations her mother would make soufflés, curries, gnocchi Jody inherited her mother's fondness for cooking, but it wasn't until she went to Brown University that her interest in food took a professional turn. "I had a part-time job with Nancy Verde Barr, a professional food writer and teacher. After a while, she learned It was much better in thekitchen learning French and Italian cooking techniques than It was in academic class Jody's culinary career in Boston began in 1983 at Seasons restaurant under Chef Lydia Shire.
After our family talk we would prepare our flavorstar dishes to be wrapped up to be taken to my grandmother house. As I would help my mother get the food ready I would admire the cinnamon/ sugary scented sweet potato pie which has always been my favorite. Once the food was covered we would all dash down the hall in our bed room and scuttle to get the house clean. Feeling like superwomen and a ball of light, we managed to clean the house in twenty five minutes. After everyone was dressed, we assisted my mom with putting the food in the car.
I went into the kitchen, greeted my mum as is custom in my family, looked over at what she was cooking; she was boiling meat, making soup and rice, plenty enough to last for a whole week at least. “Mum, is dad back from work yet?” I said while walking round the kitchen looking for what to stuff my mouth with for the moment, “Yes, he should be in the room”, it is both their room and my mum always made sure she never personalized it as his or hers. I still do not know the reason for that “Okay, thanks”, “And tell him the food will be ready soon”, my mum shouted as I was already walking towards my parents’ room. I went into the room, greeted my dad, talked a little about school and the things I did. We quickly ran out of things to talk about.
It is November 27th, Thanksgiving Day, a cool day outside where one could get by wearing jeans and a sweater if they wanted. My two siblings and I are searching the closet for the sea of forks, knives and spoons located in a big, leather trunk with a large golden buckle on the front. Again, just like every year, we are to drape the white table cloth on the table and set up the silverware, forks on the left and the shiny new knives on the right. “I did my part I’m done” or “can you get out of my way already” can be heard coming from the dining room. From the kitchen, conversations aren 't sounding much better.
In my thoughts, I can clearly smell once again the delightful smell of the cookies and that wonderful turkey. I can feel the warmth of that old coal stove, and most of all, I can still feel the warmth of the love within the family. Right up the alley from my house, was the Zion Lutheran Church, where the Boy Scouts sold Christmas trees every year. Somehow they always had one too many and they would ask us to take it off their hands. My Father, brother, and I would sit for hours changing light bulbs trying to find the one that was bad in the string of lights from last year.
The night before Easter I couldn’t sleep knowing what a great day it going to be with delicious food. I had a dream of all the great food we were going to bar-b-que with sides and desserts. My dad and I woke up early Easter Sunday to get everything ready and I knew it was going to be perfect. We started bar-b-queing and I just love the way it smells when I just barely put it on the bar-b-que pit. Especially after the meat cooks for a while, and I open the lid and a white cloud of smoke emerges into my face like when a car burns out and I just inhale then exhale the aroma of the meat.
Grandma, dressed in a floral cotton housedress, her stockings rolled and tied at her knees, was stirring milk gravy in a black cast-iron skillet. Grandpa was first to be served a heaping plate of bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy, followed by Randy and Roger. Grandma and I always ate last. During our meal, she pronounced that she and I would be heading out to pick fresh greens as soon as the kitchen was set to order. I knew it was a momentous occasion because normally Randy, her preferred helper would have been her first choice.
Dr. Steve Sagal was an obstetrician (a baby doctor) and had a busy day ahead of him. He was in a terrible hurry to leave for work. Mrs. Sagal put the plate down in front of Lucinda and said, “Eat up! We’ll be leaving soon for the grocery store.” Lucinda moved the eggs around on her plate. Then she picked up the toast, put jelly on it and took a bite.
The Dining Hall at State University is bustling with kids in sweatshirts and pajama pants. The make-your-own Belgian waffle line is long and students are complaining about the lack of forks. Phrases like “I got wicked smashed last night,” and “I really need a cup of coffee” can be heard around the tables. It’s typical Sunday morning on campus. It’s hard to find something healthy, nutritious, and tasty at the university’s dining halls.
I love when the holidays come because this means two of my favorite things are going to take place: eating food and giving/receiving gifts. We also clear out the kitchen to host Christmas games and have a dance competition. However, that changed after November 7, 2010. Half of my family lives in Decatur, Illinois (grandma, grandpa, aunties, uncles, and cousins). The other half of my family lives in my hometown, Brownsville, Tennessee (mom, dad, sister, and my two brothers).