More Food Memories

Sundays my parents would take one day off from working at our family shop. My mom would always cook Korean food during the week, but on Sunday, my dad would have at it with our gas grill in the backyard, and we’d have steak night! I felt like we were having an American dinner, and it felt fun and special to make “American” sides, like baked potatoes and roasted green beans, and have bread on the table, not rice! However, there was always kimchi on the table as a side, because hey, we are Korean after all!  

My tradition is a roomie tradition. It’s kind of rare, with our individual travels, to all be at the flat at once. Whenever all three of us are together for Sunday brekki, we have a corn cake celebration.  A flat hard-shell corn tortilla, a fried egg, avocado, diced tomato, cilantro, and cojita cheese. So simple. So yummy. So made with love! 

Saturday is homemade Latin-Honduran breakfast! After working out, it’s a feast—very simple, but so much love and tradition. My husband is American and embraces my love for cooking. He enjoys hearing the little stories that come up during Saturday morning breakfast about how I was brought up and how, when he was alive, my dad would take me out on Saturdays to eat a traditional breakfast. We do Italian dinner on Wednesdays, as his mom’s side is Italian immigrants, and he tells me his own stories. We did this without planning—it just happened, and it helps us grow together. 

Now that my kids are adults and live in different towns, we enjoy a weekly family dinner. Every component must be made from scratch. We decide what we will be making, and often it is something new that we want to try. We all cook together. It’s family time, all enjoying this feast we created. It’s great for catching up and bonding. 

We’re known for making scrumptious hot pretzels. When my kids have friends sleep over, we make them together the next morning. I used to go into the school and make them with the kids when they were little, and I would bring them in as the birthday snack. It’s our signature treat! 

One of my family’s food traditions was Sunday morning cinnamon rolls. It started with my great-great-grandmother and was passed down all the way to me. It was a Sunday morning staple growing up, and we would always make them together on Saturday afternoons. I don’t have kids yet, but once I do, I can’t wait to continue with them.

Lentil Soup! I grew up in the northeast in an Italian family. It was a weekly staple, especially on busy weeknights! Nothing reminds me more of childhood, coming home, and comfort. Now, as an adult living in Southern California, I don’t have it as often, but every time I do, I am transported to the safety and coziness of my childhood home…all that’s missing is the snow! 

We always sat down as a family at the dining room table.  After sports, work, and homework, it was the time to catch up on each other’s days and be together. I love how often all of my sisters and our parents were able to gather around the table. A food tradition:  breaded pork tenderloin on Thursdays. Dad would come home from the office early, pound out the pork, and start doing the breading. He cooked for an army–his family of five girls (four daughters and my mom). We would have the best Friday school lunches with the leftover pork tenderloin!