Team Oberdeck

Comfort Food

I’m a sucker for sentimentality.  I form an emotional attachment to everything.  It’s a talent, really.  I can look in my closet and tell you when and why I bought most of my clothes – how they made me feel, how I was hoping they would make me look, and what alter ego I was hoping would magically come out while wearing them.

The same for music.  The soundtrack for my life is at least a ten-disk compilation.  I really miss the days when you actually collected CDs – when you could proudly display your collection and let others get to know you through snooping while you were in the bathroom.

“Why, yes, I did embrace grunge.”

“Oh, that?  Yes, Metallica was instrumental through most of my sophomore year of college.”

“Smashing Pumpkins?  No – I’d frame their lyrics, but his voice makes me want to wrap my head in styrofoam and bang it against the wall.”

“Uh huh.  I have exposed my two-year-old to the political agenda of the Fleet Foxes, the sweet soulfulnes of Ray LaMontagne,  & the incredible happiness that is Vampire Weekend.”

“Ah.  The Ace of Base.  I can explain that……..”

And – of course – the same is for food.  Andrew and I have done some traveling in our time together, and it never fails that I leave a trip with formative food memories.  Our camping trip to Florida – the first trip we ever took together – is marked beginning (beer at the Irish pub), middle (our margarita fiesta at the only Mexican restaurant in town), and end (the first time I successfully grilled a foil pack – garlic & herb potatoes).  Whenever I see, smell, or hear about paella, I go instantly back to the first time I had it – in a tiny Basque restaurant in Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.  I will never again look at a mussel without thinking of Mussel Fest in Coupeville, even though I was already well-acquainted with them.  Unfortunately, there was a serious lack of this at Mussel Fest….but the food made up for it 🙂

We have spent our fair share of time in the Pacific Northwest, and with it has come a familiarity with some of the flavors & cuisine there.  I love seafood and always go over my fish-limit while there.  I never regret it, either.  But when I want to make something to take me back, I reach for my granola recipe.

What!?  Granola?!

Seriously.  The first trip Andrew and I took to the area, we spent one leg of our journey on San Juan Island.  It is a beautiful place – lavender fields, rolling farms, rocky bluffs, and the ever-amazing pod of orcas swimming off the coast.  At the same time, it’s much like any other island in the PacNW.  Quaint.  Kitschy.  And at times, the tourist-y-ness is completely off-putting, with the loads of shops selling golf shirts & wine charms.  But the negatives are all things I saw on my second visit to the island – the first time was magical, as it was my first week in the PacNW and I was on a much needed vacation with the love of my life.  Despite going back and seeing a little more of ‘reality’ in San Juan, it remains high on my Favorite Places list because of my rosy memories there.

Anyway, we stayed at a B&B that I still highly recommend to anyone thinking of going to the islands.  Now I am not a B&B person.  I don’t  like forced conversation with strangers at breakfast, and often I’m not even interested in eating breakfast at all!  We stayed at a B&B a few years back where the owners actually waited up for us at night – we were definitely out drinking and it smelled strangely of sneaking my drunken self past my parents in high school (not that I ever did that).  But.  The Tucker House isn’t like that – it’s large enough that you don’t have to see anyone, and the owners let you be as you wish.  They’re helpful and knowledgable – they’re very happy to talk to you – but they don’t seek you out.  And, Anna Maria makes the most amazing breakfasts – I actually WANTED to get out of bed to eat them….but I didn’t have to because they had an “early breakfast” and a “Angela’s Schedule Breakfast.”  Can I get a Hallelujah?!  And every morning, no matter what else she was serving, her granola was sitting on the table for those who wanted it.  I ate it every day.  I asked for her recipe.  I bought her cookbook JUST for the recipe.

And this evening, just to get a little bit of that vacation-y feeling in my bones, I made it.

As usual, I burned the first batch.  As usual, I bought enough to feed an army.  And, as usual, Andrew just about jumped out of his skin with excitement when he realized what he was smelling.

I love food.  More than that, I love it when food helps me time travel.  My house smells like cinnamon, cloves, and local honey, and I feel like a newlywed again….for the moment.

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This entry was published on April 24, 2012 at 4:53 am and is filed under Food, Ramblings, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Comfort Food

  1. Since I just returned home from the northwest, I completely understand.

  2. debbie on said:

    Will you share the recipe with me? I’m obsessed with home made granola!

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