Reader Letter: A Greek Odyssey
Editor Scott Mowbray asked readers in his December Editor's Page to described their most important food moment. Here's a terrific one:
Hi, Scott --If you're asking for anecdotes about the moment food became more than nourishment and took center stage as one of life's great pleasures, I'll share mine. I'm a foodie now, and have been a loyal Cooking Light fan for over a decade. But I was anything but an adventuresome eater, growing up. My mom did her best cooking for 3 picky eaters, so meals were tasty, but basic.
Married at 21, right after graduating in piano performance from the University of Michigan, one of the first things I got for myself, after a vacuum cleaner, was a modest little cookbook: The Art of Greek Cookery, put out by the "Women of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church." Craig Claiborne's endorsement is right on the cover: "The best volume on Greek cooking yet written." I chose it because my new husband and I had visited Greektown in Detroit a couple of times, and I was interested in learning more about the cuisine.
The first thing I made out of it put me in orbit, and I haven't touched the ground since, when it comes to food. It was a rather innocuous sounding "Chicken in Dill Sauce" on pg. 86. It is a simple recipe: chicken browned in butter, then braised with lots of sauteed chopped scallions and fresh dill weed, and served with an avgolemono sauce, made with the braising liquid from the chicken. Who would have guessed? I had NO idea food could be this delicious and unique. I wrote "Exquisite!" by the recipe and smile every time I see that, written 35 years ago. It's still one of our favorite meals. In fact, I think I'll make it again tomorrow night.
Thanks for asking about our important food moments. That's the one I remember as putting me on the road to great food, interesting ingredients, and overall good nutrition.
Regards, and boy, do I enjoy Cooking Light!
Catherine McMichaelSaginaw, MI