Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cherry Pie in Heaven

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about my Mother’s influence on my food life. Today, I write in honor of my Father and his influence.

My essential personality is nearly a carbon copy of my Dad’s essential personality. This has afforded me the luxury of watching him to see what works and what does not work.

A piece of this essential personality is: Picky Eater. My Dad was a meat and potatoes man. His diet consisted of beef, pork, cheese, potatoes, corn, white bread, fruit salad, cake, cookies, and pie with an occasional Branns’s salad bar trip thrown in for good measure. Each time that he went into a nursing/physical rehab center over the past couple of years it was difficult for the staff to find things that he would eat.

My diet is vegetarian (some lactose intolerance) with a very occasional meal of local, free-range poultry. I love fruit, whole grains, and with the exceptions of brussel sprouts and kolrabi – all vegetables. An added layer to my picky eating strategy is fresh and local. Such a rebel, I am! I would not be able to eat the institutional food at a nursing center either.

What my Dad taught me about food is the joy of fresh corn on the cob in August and how occasions are made special with a meal at a favorite restaurant. And oh, how we both LOVE cherry pie!  We are both in love with Lake Michigan – one of the features that created the food growing eco-system in the area. As my Dad aged, one of his favorite activities was to go to the Lake Michigan shoreline and look at the lake during a picnic lunch.

My Dad also taught me that – although he lived to be 85 – a diet of limited variety and processed food could lead me to adult onset diabetes, weight gain, heart attacks, and perhaps even dementia. Since our basic physical structures started out the same, I watched and learned to eat differently. We’ll see how that works out for me over the next 30 years.

My Dad died on July 22, 2012. Rest in Peace, Dad. I hope that your Spirit diet consists of fresh corn on the cob and cherry pie.

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