I know I had a good childhood. I do not have a very good memory, but I remember many scenes that were related to food and being happy in all of them... I remember when I was a child my greater gastronomic ally was Dagmar, our fat dog. Thanks to her I could reserve place in my stomach for what I really was interested in. She was there when I needed her the most. At lunchtime she got underneath the table to happily receive the extreme overdone beef I was supposed to eat but hated. And at snack time she was beside me ready to get the unfilled cookies after I ate all the delicious fillings! I was a real sweet tooth! In the money aspect I’ve always been a saver, but sometimes I couldn’t resist and took all my coins to have banana split at Posto 6 (a dinner very close to home). My first incursions in the kitchen just happened because of my necessity to eat something sweet and not having anyone to do them for me! First I did a kind of lollypop with burnt sugar, honey and limejuice. Soon I was increasing my repertoire; doing Brigadeiro (a Brazilian candy), cakes and crepes. By the way here’s the crepe recipe, so easy that even a child can make it!
Ingredients for the crepes batter (yields about 8 crepes):
½ cup of milk
1/3 cup of flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp of melted butter, slightly burnt (beurre noisette)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and salt. Gradually add in the flour, stirring to combine. Add the butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.
I also remember Macdonald's was coming to Brazil and we found it the best thing in the world. We felt it was a restaurant made for us, kids. They had a promotion where you sang their music and won a Big Mac, so all the time there we went singing (like a mantra): Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. It seemed we suffered brainwashing! But I also had a very sophisticated side and one of the things I liked the most was to be taken to good restaurants with my parents. I was found of Churrascarias with their pinky juice steaks, and the Japanese restaurants with their exotic strong tasting foods. I loved also Italians where I could eat Carpaccio, salad with blue cheese sauce and pizza. The fanciest was a French one where I liked to eat shrimps, but also tasted my first oyster, frog’s leg, caviar and escargots… and loved it all!!! I guess I was born a gourmet!