My Dad grew up hungry during the great depression. As an adult, he celebrated food. Mom would cook during the week but on weekends he was the family cook. He'd call himself "Ronaldo" and start with eggs and caramelized onions and peppers in the morning. If we wanted something different, he'd cook that too. And he'd grill in the afternoon. He had a kamado (little known in America during the 1960s) that a friend brought back from Japan as a gift: he used it to grill the most marvolous chicken. Today I continue his tradition of celebrating food.
I must have been 5 years old when I realized that I liked my father's bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches better than the BLTs my mom made. I asked him about it and he told me he never puts mayonaise on the toast -- always in the middle -- between the bacon and tomato and lettuce because it keeps the toast crunchy.
This was my first lesson in food: it's the little things a cook does that make the difference between a good meal and a great one. I learned a lot from my Dad over the years, and mom too. Our family was always about getting together and enjoying good food and and good company.
My Dad became more focused on food after he retired and eventually became a type 2 diabetic. This was his final lesson to me about food: it's never more important than your health.
I've tried diets and they don't work for me. I just have rules that I try to follow most of the time: I avoid processed food, sugar (most of the time) and anything that's already prepared except for the occassional rotiserie chicken on a busy day.
I also have a strict "one plate" rule. I don't do seconds except on holidays and I rarely eat deserts. Don't get me wrong, I love a good creme brulee but roasted meat and potatoes is where my heart is at.
Bubba is my best bud and loves food as much as I do.