I know it’s going to seem kind of obvious writing a little blog piece on this, considering everyone knows that I cook … I have a little food company … and food experiences at my place aren’t ordinary.
I also play in a band called Deadbeat Superheroes. We write and record our own music and play a few times a year.
But I was thinking about food today and equating it with my love for music.
It just hit me as I was thinking about Joanna Sable’s recent article on me for her “Great Ethnic Home Cooks: West Indian vs. East Indian” piece. I started creating in the kitchen at a very early age … probably around eight.
It was part out of love for food, and part, out of necessity. You see, I was a latch-key kid.
My mum started working when I was nine – and my brother, six. She worked afternoons at first, so she’d make us lunch and then leave for work and come back later in the evening.
Those were very interesting times. I’d pick up my brother and come home with him … and we’d be alone. Sometimes my dad would be around, and if he were, he’d make crazy stuff for diner, like pakoras, for my brother and me.
Soon after, in grade five, my mum worked the morning shift, and I came home with my brother and made lunch for us – mostly hot dogs or cold cut sandwiches – while watching the Flintstones and Dark Shadows.
It was around that time that I got my first turntable.
We were at a friend of the family’s place, and they had a whole hi-fi thing going on. As soon as we got back home, I asked my father if we could pull our record player, receiver, and speakers out of the closet that it had been sitting in for years. It got immediately transplanted to the top of my dresser – and about a day later, he got a new needle for the turntable and a copy of the “Macho Man” LP by The Village People. Hands down, it was my favourite song at the time. The bass player absolutely tore it up. I sat at my desk while it played for the first time, as my brother jumped up and down, dancing, on my bed.
But, before this, when I turned seven, I got my first tape recorder.
Immediately afterwards, I wrote my first song. It had seven words “Every day is some day I love.” I would sing the phrase and then repeat it, dropped by a fifth. I must have heard a song that had similar phrasing and harmony … well, okay just about every song has rising and falling fifths. And back in that day, the most infamous, was the first two notes of the Star Wars theme.
I remember feeling embarrassed when my mum heard it … but instead of making fun, she encouraged me and also sang a song into my tape recorder. I remember being in awe … I couldn’t believe my mum could sing like that.
I’m very proud, and happy, that I found those passions early in life, and that they never left me … as I approach my 46th birthday next month.
That I get as excited today about food, or a new record, as I did when I was 7, or 8, or 9 … I feel very lucky that those passions weren’t phases in my life.
When I got my first KISS record, or started making breakfast for my family with my mum on the weekends when I barely old enough to reach the top of the stove, I still feel the same way when I get a new record (or make one) or make a meal for myself or friends.
May your passions never leave you.