Age 4: Sally the Waitress was my favorite game. Sally worked at the Blue House Restaurant and took orders from her aunts and grandmother seated in the front yard. Sally was also the chef, making all the food from plants, branches and rocks she found in the yard. French Onion Soup was her specialty.
Age 12: I declared myself a vegetarian, not for moral reasons but because I didn't really like the meat I had eaten and my best friend Hannah was also a vegetarian. My mother told me she wouldn't cook special meals for me, but I was already comfortable enough in the kitchen that I didn't care. I suspect the fact that it annoyed her also made it more worthwhile.
Age 19: I rented my first house with 5 other girls. We planted a garden, had a compost heap, and cooked almost all of our own food except for the occasional pizza or burrito. We had bountiful potluck dinners and drank tons of cheap red wine.
Age 25: I was living in Boston. Just having finished my Master's in Writing and Publishing, I was waiting tables at a bustling, casual restaurant right off The Commons. I was really learning about wine and food for the first time. I had the most disposable income I'd ever had and I was spending it all on dinners and cocktails. I was also no longer a vegetarian. Life was pretty damn good, except it was happening in Boston.
Today: I've been married a year to a man who's changed my life in small, incremental, amazingly fabulous ways from the day we met. We live in a great neighborhood in San Francisco where we have a small garden on our back deck and a plot in a community garden a few blocks away. We make almost all of our own food down to the bread we eat each week, our morning granola, and of course the bitters in our old fashioneds.