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ERIN SULLEY: Confessions of a foodie

The author displays the harvest from her Mount Pearl backyard, just in time for Thanksgiving last month. — Paul Pickett photo
The author displays the harvest from her Mount Pearl backyard, just in time for Thanksgiving last month. — Paul Pickett photo - Contributed

“Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.”

— Ina Garten

Food is the ingredient that binds us together.

My name is Erin Sulley and I’m addicted to food. I love everything about food. I love the taste, the smell, the texture and the presentation.

I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you this new column to share our common food interests. I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. It is a hobby and passion of mine. I am that person who takes photos of their food and posts it to Instagram. I’m constantly teased by my family and friends, I suppose for good reason.

I’m the person who, when plating a dish at home, or being served at a restaurant, pauses after the food hits the table, while the aroma lingers under my nose. I don’t dare touch it until I take a picture.

Come on, you know you’re guilty of doing that at least once, or you certainly know someone who does. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians post an immense amount of food photos on social media.

I was curious as to the definition of a foodie. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a foodie is “A person with particular interest in food; a gourmet.”

I feel like that describes most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians based on the big Sunday cooked dinners and amazingly unique N.L. recipes.

Almost all social events in this province involve food. You aren’t in someone’s home five minutes before they put on the kettle and a plate of something on the table. It could be as simple as bread and jam. But, that homemade sliced bread and jam made from handpicked berries is to die for!

Over the years, my obsession has evolved into growing food in a small veggie garden, which has been taking up more real estate with each passing year. This Thanksgiving we actually served all our own homegrown veggies for dinner, and they were delish. I have an interest in knowing where my food comes from, how it’s grown, harvested and prepared.

I grew up in a single-family home with my mom and brother. Money was very tight at times, as many of you can probably relate to. As children, we never knew the difference. We wanted for nothing.

My mom is the master of “stuff.” My brother and I (more often my brother) would ask, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” She would reply, “Stuff.” The definition of “stuff”: anything she could forage from the fridge and cupboards. But let me tell you, what she managed to throw together for a quick nutritional meal would blow your mind. Let’s save that for another column.

There’s no question, my mother should have become a professional chef or caterer — comparable to Ina Garten or Giada De Laurentiis. She’s a genius at taking simple ingredients and making a gourmet meal; the queen of taking a bit of this and putting in a pinch of that. Writing a cookbook with Mom has been on my bucket list for years. #LifeGoals.

I started out with more interest in baking — cakes, tarts, with cupcakes my specialty. I don’t tout myself as being an amazing decorator, but I can tell you with confidence that my baked goods would make your mouth water.

Have you ever attempted chocolate bacon cupcakes? Oh yes, it’s a thing, and it’s amazing. Before you scrunch up your face, just think about the sweet and salty combination. Am I right?
I’m sure if you look within your family you have similar stories to share. And sharing is what I plan to do; the possibilities are endless. Anything from cooking trends, tips on cooking in bulk for the week, turning a recipe into a healthier version, growing your own veggies — and everything in between.

Perhaps the chocolate bacon cupcakes will come your way next week, or maybe my simple cauliflower “wings” recipe (a deadly snack for hockey or movie night that tastes like they shouldn’t be good for you). What I can tell you is, it’s all Fit to Eat!

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.comTwitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley

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