tara alley

Autumn, Cooking, Motherly Love: Part 2

The first part of this story began with me reminiscing about my mother, her cooking and why it is the most real food ever. After writing Autumn, Cooking, Motherly Love: Part 1, I decided to invite my mom out to spend the week cooking with me. Before I share her recipes with you, I'd like to relay a few lingering thoughts I’ve learned from these experiences in the kitchen, with my mom. 

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Autumn, Cooking, Motherly Love: Part 1

I’m going to dedicate this entry to my mom, my dearest, best friend in the world. My favorite memories from childhood are simple and often connected to three simple things: fall, my mom, and my mom’s cooking. My mom’s cooking, in my mind, is the most authentic, wonderful and delicious that I have yet encountered. I now live near L.A. where the wealth of restaurants in a one mile radius outweighs the number of people in my entire hometown, but I would rather have her cooking on any given day than that of a premiere restaurant with an award winning chef. I say all of this only because I absolutely cherish what she was able to accomplish in our home and in her kitchen on a meager budget and without a Whole Foods anywhere in the state. That’s sort of like a modern day miracle.  (Don’t tell, but I still don’t think she even knows what a Whole Foods is).

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My New Summer Eating Plan

I’ll just put it out there to start with: minus the cabbage broth cayenne pepper (or the “please-kill-me-now?”) diet, I have given most food-life styles a fair shot. I did vegetarian for about four years. Did raw for awhile (I loved it, my stomach did not), and did every sort of variation of caveman diets, of carb/protein/fat ratios and of cooked/uncooked/baked/boiled/parched plans that are out there.  Some have made me feel better, some worse, some wiped off the pounds and some put them right back on, and some were a heck of a lot more enjoyable than others. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got a “thing” for eating plans. Like, it’s too confusing and certainly altogether too overwhelming out there when the whole wide world of food is fair game.

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Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and How I Miss the Ranch

It’s strange to say that it was only six months ago that I ventured out from my beautiful ranch in Montana to the southern side of California and made a swap from rural to urban, country to city, ranch to condo and garden to supermarket. Super, emphasized. It feels like it’s been forever. It feels like I haven’t seen or felt real, solid dirt in too long. I miss driving along the dirt road and waving to farmers in their Carhartt bibs. I miss knowing that if I ever got a flat tire, the guy down the way would fix it. I miss walking a mile in any direction from my front yard without seeing anything but the great Big Sky.

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