The Butterfly Effect (meme)

Paz recently (Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz) tagged me for The Butterfly Effect Meme* begun by Dan (Saltshaker). Generally, I take ages to respond to memes – so long that most of them don’t get filled out completely and simply moulder in my draft section. But this one intrigued me enough to make me fill out almost all of it relatively quickly after hearing about it – even though the meme outline employs a word that I simply cannot stand: “foodie”. Brrrrr. But I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury and loved his short story “The Butterfly Effect”, which was where I first became aware of this particular term. I know, I know; Dan said that his meme has NOTHING to do with that story, although I’m pretty sure that was what Bradbury had in mind when he wrote the story.

The Butterfly Effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory.

(Read more.)

Without further ado, here are

food items or events that changed [my] foodie life:

  • An ingredient: When I was about 20, I was invited for dinner and asked by the chef (he really was a chef!) if there was any kind of food I didn’t like. I couldn’t think of anything and just said that I wasn’t wild about lamb. I arrived and there on the stove were brussels sprouts. I blanched. I’m sure my eyes widened – did my nostrils flare too? I HATED brussels sprouts!! How had I forgotten to mention them? And I couldn’t help myself from exclaiming, “Brussels sprouts!” The fellow said, “You do like them, don’t you?” To which I replied, lying through my teeth, “Of course!” because I had been trained from early on that I was to eat anything served to me and be gracious about it.

    I watched him prepare the sprouts by tossing parboiled sprouts into sautéed garlic and bacon pieces. He added salt and pepper and a tiny bit of red wine vinegar. And served them… I steeled myself. I told myself NOT to gag.

    No need for precautions. The sprouts were fabulous. I asked for more….

    (Here is how we like to prepare brussels sprouts.)

  • A dish, a recipe: About once a year, my parents had a dinner party to which we children were not invited. But we always got to taste a little of whatever was prepared. When I was a teenager, Mom made “veal birds” from a recipe in The Dinner Party Cookbook. I don’t recall exactly what was involved (I should ask Mom) but I vaguely remember that it was ground meat (it must have been veal??) wrapped in bacon and what was a brand new – for me anyway – ingredient. The “birds” were rolled in dried tarragon and braised in a wine sauce (I think). I was amazed by the taste of the tarragon and couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. Even though now I think dried tarragon is a poor substitute for fresh tarragon, I still love the distinctive earthy flavour of dried tarragon.
  • A meal (in a restaurant, a home, or elsewhere): Another tradition when I was growing up was that we could choose whatever we wanted (within reason) for our birthday dinners. When I was about to turn 15, I leafed through The Dinner Party Cookbook and chose barbecued chicken with rice and curried fruit. The chicken and rice were unbelievably great. The curried fruit was thrilling and exotic (one of my sisters HATED it) and I wanted to try all kinds of new things from The Dinner Party Cookbook
  • A cookbook or other written work: The Dinner Party Cookbook (see above)
  • A food “personality” (chef, writer, etc.): Julia Child. I admit that the first times I saw Julia Child were in the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan”, Dan Akroyd’s wonderful satire of her on “Saturday Night Live”, and David Letterman’s talk show when she made grilled cheese sandwiches. I loved her voice and sense of humour. It wasn’t until relatively recently that I really started to appreciate her though when I first started getting interested in baking bread: in particular, the French bread section in From Julia Child’s Kitchen (read an excerpt)
  • Another person in my life: My husband who introduced me to REAL curries and regularly cooks the best food of all kinds for us. Most of the dinners that I rave about here have been prepared by him. As politically incorrect as it might seem in these days of ultrafeminism, he really is my chef.

Initially, Dan wasn’t going to tag people for his meme and was planning to “leave it open to anyone out there with a blog to take this up” but then he changed his mind and started tagging people.

Me? I’m incapable of tagging… if you would like to participate, here’s how:

The Butterfly Effect Meme

[…] food items or events that changed your foodie life. Not some “oh, it’s the first time I didn’t put jelly on a peanut butter sandwich and used bananas instead” sort of change, unless you truly feel that affected you profoundly. That’s the key – it affected you profoundly, in some manner. A moment you can look back at and say “that was a defining moment”. […] Here are your categories:

  1. An ingredient
  2. A dish, a recipe
  3. A meal (in a restaurant, a home, or elsewhere)
  4. A cookbook or other written work
  5. A food “personality” (chef, writer, etc.)
  6. Another person in your life

For more details about the Butterfly Effect Meme, please go to

This entry was posted in crossblogging, food & drink, meme on by .

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