Then and Now: Flashback foods, growing pangs and ACAI BOWLS

Dear Katherine,

I have to start off with mentioning that your photos of your food from your last blog-letter post at Emma’s looked unbelievably enticing. Even just a quick glance at those plates made my mouth water. And it brings me unbelievable happiness. Who knew how a few great photos of food could make someone feel elated and elevated and crave such goodness… I can’t even deal. I really want a brisket bolognese with thick fettuccine right now.

Anyhow. Working through personal differences in relationships is sometimes very tough. I mean, when I think about it, we are all raised so differently growing up, our personalities are different, our living styles are different, our family dynamics and how we react and respond to stimuli; all of these factors that make up who we are as individuals are also the things that makes us butt heads. It’s not that one way or the other is wrong or right, there’s just a lot of grey area and it’s an ongoing process of compromise and collaboration. Everything is amplified, from the things you say, the tone of your voice, the anger or calm of your words – all of these things are noticed by people.

A long time ago, when newspapers were read, (and not just online lol) I used to cut out my favorite comic strips from the comics section of the newspaper (some examples below):

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One comic I remember had two people talking and it basically went a little something like this:

P1: “Why do you suppose there’s so much hate in the world today?”
P2: “People don’t respect the opinions of others.”
P1: “Well, that’s a stupid answer.”

It just so perfectly illustrates how stubborn and silly we humans can be. Not enough understanding or collaboration and just enough closed-mindedness and thoughts of our own egos that we can’t just get over to see the other side’s POV. That’s why arguments are tough. We need more understanding and love. Hahaha and I love that your parents say, “You really gotta kiss a lotta frogs first.” It’s really true. Kiss the frogs, then find the prince that’s worth having. Every day I find that I learn more about myself, others and the world and every day I realize that love is a choice. We must be intentional with our time and what we do (and who we do), because we don’t have that much of it (time > money). I’m working through my relationships… it’s both a pain and a pleasure. But nobody said it would be easy; they just said it would be worth it and rewarding. Reap what you sow, right? Sowing season is in session… and I can’t wait to reap my rewards lol.

Anyway, you know what else is equally (if not more) rewarding? FOOD. Like I said before, my longest relationship is with food, but that goes way back and I wanted to take it back after reading your post because it reminded me a bit of my childhood.

Taking it back to childhood:

I don’t know what it is with me and my obsession with Italian food. My parents have always cooked foods from all around the world. Our household rarely had the same meal twice in a day. When I was a child – starting from baby-status to toddler age – my mom would take the food spoon (filled with food, of course) and spin it side to side in front of my face. She said it was hilarious to see my head turn from side to side, eyes wide and locked in on the prize, following that food spoon until I had whatever food was in/on the spoon in my mouth. My mom said she ate a lot of whatever she liked when she was pregnant with me in her womb. Whenever my mom would crave chicken or steak or Italian pastas, my dad would bring home what she desired. And my mom wouldn’t tell him that she had eaten already; she would just request the food she wanted and my dad would comply. Being that it was their first pregnancy, first baby, first child together; my father obviously wanted my mother to be happy and healthy – after all, happy wife, happy life, am I right? Hahaha.

So yeah, I wasn’t a fussy child and I never had to be forced to eat food. I’ve never been a picky eater. I just don’t understand that, do you (my little brother is picky eater lol). I’ve disliked certain dishes and had certain preferences for a variety of different types of foods, but I don’t recall ever complaining about eating anything. My dad would make steaks or grill different meats, and my mom would cook everything from all the Asian dishes to curry to spaghetti and more. She would get so creative with her dishes and decorate them and everything. Being a preschool teacher back then, she always made eating and learning and lunches so much fun.

It’s always been in my best interest to not only judge a dish by presentation, but by smell and taste (obviously). Growing up, of course I had the normal school lunches any kid in the 90s had, but I was usually for me would be like those bento boxes you see a lot of Asian kids had.

Now and then:

Being alive during the late 80s to early 90s era, has me feeling a bit old. Now that shows on Netflix are highlighting the good times from times past, I too, am starting to remember my childhood (insert montage of childhood memories). Nostalgia has got me thinking about bologna sandwiches, Goldfish and such snacks. I’ve seen the progression of children’s lunch foods from the CapriSun drinks (I used to be obsessed) to the ever popular Lunchables and Bagel Bites. Nowadays, I can’t imagine any kid having those foods. Now, as the healthy foods craze has kicked in… It’s all about a healthy and well-balanced diet/meal for kids. BUT! I still remember a time when we used to eat these foods below on the regular at school:

  • Rectangular Pizza.
  • Fish Sticks And Fries.
  • Bouncing rubber chicken nuggets
  • Hoodsie Cups.
  • Nachos With Loads Of Cheese Sauce.
  • Tater Tots!
  • Sloppy Joe’s and Crinkle Fries.
  • Simple PB & J
  • Funions, Doritos, Cheetos (dangerously cheesy) and the chip list goes on
  • Fruit by the foot
  • Airheads
  • Gushers
  • Anything processed or sugar bombed, we probably ate it then.

So yeah, childhood has got me thinking about all those tasty processed foods, which now, revisiting, don’t seem so appetizing anymore. Yes, our tastebuds change as we grow older, as do our tastes. It just sucks that the nostalgia of what once was still remains, but it just doesn’t taste the same anymore.

I don’t know if the health foods kick revolution has infiltrated the east coast beast coast life, but here on the west coast (best coast) we aren’t about that heavily processed life so much anymore. I’m about to go on a quest for the best acai bowl in LA adventure. Los Angeles, (home of the kale smoothie and acai bowls) is actually where the whole juice cleanse began and stores such as Pressed Juicery, Nektar, Kreation and the like started popping up everywhere.

Recently, I’ve been to quite a few places nearby in the LA area. I have an acai bowl joint that I frequently visit called Acai Nation (top two acai bowl images pictured below). They have highly customizable bowls and various types of granola (who knew such variety existed)? And their bowls are reasonably sized and priced generally in the $8 bucks range. The other place is called Juice Crafters (bottom two acai bowl images pictured below). They’re more focused on green juices and cleanses, are a bit pricier, but their bowls are phenomenal. Plus, they give huge portions so you can save some in the fridge to eat later. I want to check out this other place a little ways down the street that is not so popular (I think because of location) but just started serving acai bowls. I’ll let you know how that goes later.

Anyhow, some people may think this is acai and fruit bowl overload, but it’s actually packed with good nutrients and great for a post workout meal/snack. I’ve seen some really beautifully made acai bowls that are made at home and the more ingredients you pack, the more goodness you can eat in a bowl. I love things that you can just throw into a bowl messily and then cover it up and make it all pretty up top haha. This is also equal parts healthy and delicious. That’s all we seek in a dish, right?

Well, happy hump day! Can’t wait to catch up with you on the exciting dishes (and drinks) we have going on for this Fourth of July holiday weekend!

Until next time, this is Anne signing out.

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