Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Long Line.

"No one who cooks cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."-Laurie Colwin

I can think of no better sentence to sum up how I feel about cooking.
I often think back to when I stood alongside my grandmother in her kitchen while I watched her roll out dough on her bread board that she would later cut into her homemade noodles, or watch her (from a safe distance) at the stove frying up diced onions in butter for her homemade perogies.
My other Grandmother was a genius at creating something delicious out of almost nothing. I believe that this was born out of sheer will to care for a large family.
Of course all this experience filtered down to my parents and continued its path down to my life.
Just the other day my mother told me about how she with the assistance of my father made her homemade mac & cheese, a simple dish that still causes me to sigh just thinking about it. A true comfort food through and through.

"One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating."

Since our move to Florida this thought is running constantly in the back of my mind.
And as Autumn is my favorite time of the year, I yearn for a stew simmered in a slow cooker.
This is also the time for chili's and homemade soups which puts me in mind of a certain friendship. My husband and I have been the invited guests to Sunday lunches where not one soup is served but two making the decision a tough one. But I would have to say that to this day my favorite is her homemade black bean soup. I can still see it sitting in the tall pot on her stove top. This is also the time of year for hot drinks. Apple cider or hot chocolate after time spent outside in the cool weather. I find the scent of cinnamon hard to resist. Just a recap of the last blog I will mention that chai might also be in order. Just the other day and while feeling slightly reminiscent I made a pot of chai for my husband and I to share, another comfort food.

"The thing about homebodies is that they can usually be found at home. I usually am, and I like to feed people."

Another true statement about myself.
I find great satisfaction in selecting a menu and preparing a dinner for friends or family.
Certain friends are more adventurous and therefore afford me the opportunity to be creative.
One friend in particular (who doesn't have a weight problem) will not only take seconds but help himself to a third helping and go on to dessert. This too delights my soul as I clear away empty dishes feeling a job done well. Now having said this I also recall a time when I tried a new recipe for biscuits that didn't turn out well and promptly found a home in the garbage bin.
Such is life.
Cooking is sometimes trial and in this case error. Not only did the offending biscuits end up in the trash, so did the recipe.
And, I am always on the look for a new recipe.
Yesterday I was thinking about a stir fry that another friend made for my husband and I. I could taste the subtle flavor of orange and I immediately feel that I have learned something new.
Like the statement says, I love to talk about food.
I am always interested to share and talk about food experiences. "What do you like or do not like?" " What do they remember as a child growing up?" "What is their favorite restaurant and why?"
I am a great believer that the selection of a recipe or a certain prepared dish can tell you a fair amount about a person.

I have always been thankful for being included in the kitchen when my mother cooked or my father baked. My fathers speciality is cinnamon buns. Even though I have his "secret recipe", I have never been able to duplicate his buns. That is what makes them so special.
Food brings people together whether you chat about the roast or not.
A glass of wine, a slice of cheese to go with and you have a party. Hey I just described, "Miller Snacks".
And that my friends is just another delight.

All quotes taken from "Home Cooking" by Laurie Colwin

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