Disclaimer: My favoritest blogs are ones that I feel like I have a friend on the other side of the Internet in addition to all of their pretty food pictures, stories and recipes. These are the ones that keep me coming back time and time again as I wonder how people are doing, even though I’ve clearly never met or spoken to most. While I do still prefer to keep this blog semi-anonymous for practical reasons and I have occassionally written a non-food post, I was recently inspired by a recent posting from one of my favorite bloggers to share something a little more than food adventures. If you are here just for the food, please forgive my intrusion and skip today’s post. I’ll have a recipe for you shortly Otherwise, I’d like to share a very important part of my life in the words forthcoming and part of my motivation for cooking.
It’s September. It’s the start of fall (proof offered by the arrival of pumpkin loaf and lattes in Starbucks today) and the beginning of the gorgeous months in San Francisco. For many, it’s the start of school. And for me, while I clearly not starting a new school year, it marks a very important day of the year.
Six years ago on the first day of the new school year, my brother was killed in a car accident. I remember that day like it was yesterday, but it’s been a long, empty six years without my best friend. I miss him like none other.
By no means do I want to use this to recount all of the memories of my brother; there are entirely too many and I think I already have plans to share some of the best in a later post. Sure, there are the fights over who got the bigger or better <
The summer between my freshman year and sophomore year of college was our last summer together. At the time, my family had relocated to a different part of the country from where I grew up, so I knew few people. That summer was devoted to knocking a couple of courses out at the local college, spending time with my brother, and my first forays into cooking.
He was a fantastic swimmer, a true delight to watch, and when he wasn’t eating, sleeping, or geeking out, he was in the pool that summer. While he’s no Michael Phelps and certainly didn’t consume 12,000 calories a day, he WAS a growing boy and those numerous swim practices a day certainly worked up an appetite. His willingness to eat just about anything put before him and his trademark smile and appreciation when it was something new and delicious motivated me to experiment in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. It diminished the feeling of failure when something doesn’t turn out that great that I still had someone willing to fork down the food; it must not have been that bad after all! I can’t imagine how different things would be without that jump start into cooking.
One of the last memories I have of my brother was a meal, just the two of us, of Pho. He even paid. So today, I had pho for lunch and the smell brought a small smile to my face when I reminisce about our last dinner. Perhaps, I’ll one day learn to make my own pho in his memory.