I don’t have a recipe to share with you today, but I’m thankful for this little blog space where I can sit and write. I realize that I’ve enjoyed writing about food for a long time, starting with a prize-winning essay in fourth grade detailing my disastrous attempt at making breakfast for my family when I was six years old. (It involved my cooking oatmeal to within an inch of its life, stirring the porridge so insistently that it went far past the point of creamy until it was fried beyond recognition, setting off the smoke alarm in the process!) We could write on any topic we wanted for this district-wide contest, but even as a kid whose age was still a single digit, I found myself choosing to write about food.
I was thinking about previous February 27ths today, and I was laughing to myself while remembering the dinner I’d attended on this day in 1990. It was a memorable evening if only for the reason that I tasted all kinds of food I’d never tried before, and I felt like I had been introduced to this whole new culinary world. I was a particularly obsessive journal-writer as a teenager so it's not surprising that I felt compelled to process the entire evening in one of my many cloth-covered notebooks as soon as I got home, scribbling late into the night.
I had been asked to perform at a LA-area fund-raising dinner for the Interlochen Arts Camp (formerly known as the Interlochen National Music Camp), the magical place where I’d spent several formative summers. This event was held in downtown Los Angeles at the California Club, a very exclusive social club that provided my first encounter with valet parking, an old-fashioned elevator operated by a tuxedo-clad gentleman, and a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres passed on silver trays. I was sixteen at the time and proudly wearing my favorite green-and-purple plaid Laura Ashley dress for the occasion, a detail I cannot write with a straight face now, and I was thrilled to be there.