Friday, May 4, 2012

A lifetime of cooking

I started cooking at 3ish with my grandmothers and mother.  One grandmother had a special step stool reserved just for me to stand on while we cooked.  There are pictures of the two of us stuffing Thanksgiving turkey and me licking the beaters.  My other grandmother was a wonderful baker who had wise and interesting philosophies on her art.  She loved to make cookies, especially, and I have fond memories of making Christmas cookies with her.  (I do not, however have fond memories of all the flour sifting.  Heaven forbid you make anything without sifting the flour!)

My mother was a practical cook, who made wonderfully simple and basic recipes.  Her goal was to feed the family.  I'm not really sure if she enjoys cooking, but she cooked well and made sure she had a good homecooked meal on the table for us nearly every night.  TV dinners were a rare "treat" and going out to eat, even rarer.

My grandma, the baker, and me with my brother and cousin.  I'm the one in the orange.
My husband of 19 years has never complained about my cooking. (Although there was the Tangy Beef Stroganoff incident of 1993, in which a new recipe failed miserably.  Let's just say ketchup and stroganoff do not belong in the same sentence, much less recipe.)  In fact my husband often remarks that he's glad I'm a good cook.  What my husband doesn't realize is that for years I was a lazy cook.  I guess it stemmed from being tired after an 8 hour day at work, but I faked it for years by using convenience foods.

When your recipe folder of new recipes to try "some day" becomes so fat you can't close it and your repertoire of "tried and true" recipes involves many many cans of cream of something soup, things must change.  At least for me, they did.  The final catalyst was when my husband lost his job in early 2009.  I had become a stay at home mom in 2004 when my son was born, so I knew the situation was dire.  One of the ways we could save money was to adjust our grocery budget, and thus, a new cooking journey began.  It wasn't immediate or easy and many of our meals still contained some convenience foods, but we did change.  In the last year I have finally begun to feel that once again "now I'm cookin'."

1 comment:

  1. I love your story of your grandmothers & mother and your own journey as a cook Laura!!