You may have noticed that I love to cook, I was going to be a chef - that was my plan, but the hours are long and thankless and if there's one thing I'm not, it's a nightowl. I was really lucky to grow up in a family that loved food. My dad was very involved in the restaurant industry and much of his extended family as well. We ate out often when I was young, smuggling menus out of restaurants and writing notes about service on napkins.
On weekends we would drive to the Danforth in Toronto to get fresh pita, hummous and baba ganoush. We would go west to get fresh flatbread, north for polenta. My dad would make linguine a la vongole on Fridays (my shellfish allergy developed later when I lived in Boston/Cape Cod for a summer). My mom made great bulghar wheat balls with mint yogurt sauce and delicious granola.
But the focus was always on healthy food. There was never pop in the house. Cheerios and Shreddies were the treat cereals. Dinner didn't count if there wasn't a green on the plate and homemade granola bars and apple with cheese were our after school snacks.
At the time I was envious of friends who brought nutella sandwiches to school for lunch, had oreos and sunny-d while I ate an avacado, sprouts, tomato sandwich on whole wheat with a pear nectar drink box. As an adult and now a parent I couldn't be more appreciative of the love of nutritional food that they instilled in me.
(On birthdays all the healthy went out the window and I got cakes like this.)