I grew up in a neighborhood where fresh ingredients and a local market
were always just a stone's throw away. Grams cooked by "feel" with all
natural and fresh ingredients. Eating dinner together every night was a
mandatory ritual, was done around the kitchen table and even though we
didn't always get along real well, we ALWAYS came together over
meals.... When I moved to a new area, food was all of a sudden
associated with convenience; and markets were big mega-chains with the
same staples you could find at any other market. There was a HUGE gap between culture, community and food.
This is how I cook today - I'm always on the look out for a farmer's market or mom and pop store that's BIG on produce!