Sunday, October 13, 2013

I have never been a picky eater. Some thoughts on food.

I have never been a picky eater. As a kid I always ate what was in front of me, or at least I'd give everything a try. I wasn't raised to be oblivious to what I put in my mouth - I grew up eating mostly cooked-from-scratch meals with lean meats and lots of vegetables and fish. My granddad had a boat and would go fishing almost every day. My grandmother's homemade herring fishcakes was hands down the best meal I could get as a kid. She served them with stewed swede, cabbage in bechamel sauce and steamed potatoes. I have vivid memories of our family of four plus my grandparents crammed around their tiny respatex kitchen table in their even tinier kitchen, the windows foggy from the steaming hot food.

My grandmother and my dad both have inspired my interest in cooking as they both have always cooked with their hearts respect for the food, and produced some delicious meals with flavours only fresh ingredients prepared in the right way can have. I understood from an early age it took time and food didn't just appear on the table at dinner time. Their meals were traditional; rich and filling, with lots of sauces, root vegetables and other typical Norwegian ingredients.

Although I from an early age understood that food didn't just arrive at the table from nowhere, what I didn't understand so much was what was behind the food, what it actually did to our bodies and how certain foods would help with this or that. OK, that's not entirely true. Who hasn't heard of carrots making your eyes sparkle and broccoli making giving you super human power? 

I moved out of home when I was 18, then home again before I moved to Australia at 22. I always cooked, and I didn't think I was terrible or good, I just cooked. And ate, and enjoyed the food. And I didn't put too much thought into it. I ate what I wanted and didn't really make conscious decisions about nutrition and balancing my diet. I have been blessed with a fast metabolism (and many centimeters to distribute my kilos on) so dieting has never been something I've needed to consider. 

What opened my eyes to cooking AND thinking healthy came from having a huge selection of vegetables, meats and ingredients available. In Australia, so many vegetables and fruit are locally grown so the selection of good food is just something else compared to Norwegian food, where selection at certain times of the year limited itself to root vegetables from the local area and also a lot of imported (not always so tasty depending on the season) food. To have all these new foods to get to know and learn to use in my cooking was a huge eye-opener. And I also found people I met would care about what was behind the food we bought. How had it been treated, was it organic, locally sourced, or was is imported? 

When we moved back to Norway and a few years later had kids, my interest in food grew, as giving the girls a healthy start to life through introducing good foods and restricting the not-so-good foods became important. In a society where we as consumers are bombarded with advertising, promos and promises from companies and packaging that the food is good or contains good stuff, sorting the true from the false of these is something I've become quite good at. I am now the woman standing at the aisle reading the labels when I buy processed foods.

My love for cooking and for food has grown into a life where researching and learning about food has become important, through to cooking and presenting the girls with food that is good for them and also tasting good. It is something I am very dedicated to, and for some time I have been thinking I want to share recipes and tips I pick up along the way. All this research and learning for myself is worth even more if I can share and teach others in the process, don't you think? So this is my first post about something else than just photos and something I hope will spark this ol' blog to come back to life and somewhere for me to collect not just photo memories, but also food memories for my girls. 

1 comment:

Wenche said...

Mmmm.. Kålstuing.. Pappa lager den beste i verden! ;-)

Du er flink som har en så bevisst holdning til sunn mat. Vi vil jo alle at barna våre skal få den beste starten i livet, men jeg møter godt med motstand i mine to for å si det sånn.. Jeg har ikke tenkt til å gi meg da. Det skal være grønnsaker/fruk/bær til alle måltider uansett om det spises eller ikke, og jeg prøver å involvere dem i matlagingen. Det hjelper faktisk litt.
Men jeg skulle veldig gjerne hatt et barn som den typen du var! ;-)