Friday, February 25, 2011
Foodie Friday: Why I love to cook
Something about cooking brings a smile to my face. I think it is the memories I have created with my Mom and other family members. The kitchen is a place of give and take… and lots of good conversation. In the small kitchens I grew up in, two cooks were the max. Even then, you had to get along (or just be nice) with the other cook, or you’d be driving each other nuts!
My cooking adventures began when I was 6 or 7, when my Mom recruited me to help peel the potatoes for some kind of side dish. I do not remember the side dish, just the awful work for peeling potatoes.
Honestly, why do I have to do this? There really is a law against child labor, right?
My motions with the peeler weren’t nearly as smooth and purposeful, as hers; and I really couldn’t hold onto the potatoes all that well. I just wanted to give up. I was a failure! Well, my mother didn’t let me off quite so easily.
After a few pointers on how to hold the potato and a simpler, peel-away-from-your knuckles technique, I finally got a little faster. Granted, mom could still peel 2 to 3 potatoes in the time it took me to do one. At such an early age, my mom was so patient with me.
Looking back now, I see that moment as my Mom welcoming me into the kitchen as a sous chef. Albeit, she would always let me help mix the cake batter or lick the brownie spoon. However, this time was different. I was apart of the meal-preparation process. To this day, my favorite part of cooking is the prep work: chopping and peeling. Give me a chef's knife and some veggies, and I'm a happy girl.
One of my first cookbooks was a handy-me-down from my Mom. I think it was a Betty Crocker’s cookbook for kids. It was spiral bound with illustrations from the fifties. I still love spiral-bound cookbooks because they lay nicely on the counter – you don’t have to use your elbow to hold the page open when your hands are too dirty to touch the book – but I digress.
One year, for Mother’s Day, I desperately wanted to make my mom the heart-shaped cake out of that cookbook… all by myself. I don’t know if it was out of pity or just not wanting to eat my cooking, she helped me. I was so proud of being able to make a cake. I don’t remembered how it tasted but that the adventure was just so much fun!
Although I don't get to cook with my Mom very often, it is a special time for us. We share stories, laugh about the day, or just use the time to relax. I am very blessed to have such amazing in-laws. It has been an honor to cook alongside my husband's grandmother. I feel like she is sharing history with me, when we cook together. I pray that I can pass down this tradition to my children.
When did you start cooking? Do you have a favorite memory?