Sunday, May 31, 2009

How did I get here?

I don't ever remember learning how to cook specifically.  It was more through diffusion.  I learned by watching my grandma make me my favorite foods every time I went to her house.  Since I grew up around the corner from my grandparents, that was quite a lot.  Everything she made was meaty and cheesy goodness, with a few veggies thrown in for good measure (namely my favorite childhood food, artichokes).  I quickly absorbed everything I could and to this day I am still trying to perfect my dishes so they taste as good as my grandmother's.  I call her to get tips and tricks on how to cook my favorite Italian foods.  To ask her about anything but Italian food would be a mistake.  She would probably look at you like you were crazy.  I remember once when I was younger asking my grandparents to take me to a Mexican restaurant and they didn't know what to do with themselves.  I don't even remember them ordering anything.

I learned her recipes quickly and started making dinner for my family.  My dad and sister liked my cooking better than my mom's and my mom was quick to take advantage of that.  When my mom cooked, she would always label it "Emily's sauce" or "Emily's Meatballs".  I guess she thought they would just eat it anyway once they heated it up and figured out that they'd been duped.  Fortunately, I was never fooled.

My mom's theory when cooking was to multi-task.  She was known to put a whole pound of frozen meat (frozen because she didn't have the time to buy fresh) put it in a frying pan and walk away, coming back periodically to break it apart so it could defrost better.  If you know anything abut meat, you know this could not end well.  When the meat couldn't be browned into crumbles she would defrost it in the microwave and inevitably cook all the edges.  I'm pretty sure she used those edges in the meatballs or whatever she was making along with everything else.

I don't want you to misunderstand my mom's cooking though.  She was a good cook, she just had her specialties.  She is famous in my family for poultry.  She makes the best turkey, always moist and never cold by the time it gets to the table.  The problem with her cooking is she often didn't have the time and or the patience.

My grandma and my mom have both helped to shape the cook I am now.  Whether it was teaching me how to make amazing meatballs or the wrong way to defrost meat,  I wouldn't be the cook I am now without them and I am grateful.   

1 comment:

Superchef said...

loved reading this post! :)