Have Food, Will Travel

Foodie Friday

Nov 4, 2011 by

You know how you can do something for a long time- we’re talking decades here – and never really look at the behavior and recognize it for what it is? I finally realized I am Food Transporter. I’ve been packing up food and driving it to other places where I prepare it or share it or demonstrate it since I was in my teens.

In high school I took whole meals: vast quantities of chili and cornbread, or chicken casseroles and dessert to my boyfriend’s home where his siblings would greet me with delight. His mother’s cooking was both uninspired and unknowledgeable: she once boiled a prime cut of beef until it truly resembled leather.  As an adult, I realized she might not have really appreciated my feeding her family, since they raved about my food and complained about hers.

Years before the Food Network existed, when I had just turned 30, I approached the local cable station in Victoria, B.C., pitching a food show I named “A Matter of Taste. “ The concept was to show how a particular taste could be used in different parts of a meal. The camera man focused the camera on my hands, turned it on and left the room. I chattered away, chopping and assembling; I started wrapping up when he returned to count me down to the end of the half hour.  I created my own little fake kitchen with a painted pegboard with pots and utensils hanging on it and propped it behind me as I shared the foods for each week. I have to admit I couldn’t bear watching myself,  but friends watched and declared me a “Natural.”

A decade later I partnered with a friend to create a catering company called “A Catered Affair.” We made mainly ethnic food – no cheese and meat trays for us. My car often reeked of garlicky hummus and eggplant caponata, prompting warnings for people with finicky stomachs.

And now, many decades later, I am back at it: taking food I prepare at home to the course I am teaching at a wonderful school for older learners called Lifetime Learning Center. I even called my course “A Matter of Taste: Food and its Many Attractions,” aware that after almost 40 years I still approach food by wanting a particular flavor and then set about getting it. When we explored herbs, I steamed a batch of potatoes and then passed around a drained yogurt sauce flavored with garlic, basil and lemon, a dilly-sweet mustard sauce and a mixture of the herbs that go into Tabbouli for them to try with the potatoes.

Tricks of my trade: I never throw out boxes big enough to hold a pot, casserole or food-filled bowl. I save old towels to line boxes and wrap around warm dishes. I keep insulated bags in my car for the occasional pint of ice cream or other frozen food. It’s what most folks do when they go to potlucks, picnics and tailgate parties. I just do it more often and whenever someone calls and says: “Bring Food.”

Quick Ways to Dress up Potatoes without lots of Calories:

Yogurt With Herbs And Garlic


1 cup strained yogurt or Greek Style yogurt

4 T. chopped fresh herbs – you can use individual herbs like basil, dill, chives, parsley, and mint, or you can mix and match to the tastes you like

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and Pepper


 Mix ingredients.

Great as a dip for vegetables or over steamed potatoes or rice or alongside curries or other spicy food

Dill Mustard Sauce


1 c. mustard – I use a mixture of Dijon, grainy, and hot/sweet

4 T. chopped fresh dill

3 T. brown sugar

Juice of ½ lemon


Mix together and serve with potatoes or with baked salmon.

You can also add a bit of horseradish to it to spice it up.

Tabouli without the Bulgar


 1 cup parsley

½ cup fresh mint leaves

½ bunch green onions

½ English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers

1-3 small tomatoes

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper


Chop all ingredients in processor to get them well blended but not pureed. Taste for balance.

Use over potatoes or mix with hardboiled eggs or with baked fish.  The fresh green tastes spark things up.

About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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