Apple Giﬀord Remembers that the Recipe for a Good Meal Goes Far Beyond the Food
Food, family, and travel are deliciously linked in my mind. When I was a child we traveled a lot as a family. Sometimes we would travel en masse as a family of six, and sometimes, as the youngest of four siblings, I would travel alone with my parents. On our trips, my mother was generally drawn to churches and museums, while my father, no surprise, was drawn to food. In Portugal we spent many hours at the ﬁshing docks, marveling at the colorful boats and the methods they used to bring in the ﬁsh (captivating stuﬀ for a ten year old). In Ireland, it was a trip to the Guinness factory, and many conversations about scones and soda bread. My father was always keen to sample the local fare and he loved to identify the quintessential elements of a particular dining experience. I have many memories of him expounding on how well the Europeans do coﬀee, and he was forever absconding with elegant packets of sugar from the cafes he visited on his trips.
My father was never afraid to try something out of the ordinary, and he relished grossing out his children with his adventurous tastes. My brother, Porter, remembers my father’s gusto for eel during our trip to Spain, while I remember his excitement over sampling tripe at a local market on that same trip. My stomach still turns at the thought of it.
One particularly memorable meal on our trip to Spain was a picnic lunch at the Windmills of Consuegra. My father was enamored at the idea of visiting the windmills described in Don Quixote, and so we packed up provisions and set out for the day. Before leaving Madrid, we picked up fresh bread, ﬁne cheeses, various kinds of olives, assorted dry-cured hams, chocolate, and of course wine. It was a perfect meal. I can still remember my delight at the delicious simplicity of it. Who knew that a bit of gooey cheese on bread could taste so good? My father had assembled a quintessential dining experience that transcended any one particular element. It wasn’t just the setting, or the company, or even the food—it was all of the elements combined.