Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Culinary Influences

I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where my Mom cooked dinner nearly every night of the week.  I didn’t always appreciate it as a child; in fact my brother and I lived for Mom’s Bunco nights when my Dad would pick up fast food on his way home.  Yet from the time I was a little girl, I can remember helping Mom out in the kitchen with small prep tasks (if you need green beans snapped, I'm your girl) and chatting as I watched her effortlessly prepare that evening’s meal.  Needless to say, I learned my love of cooking, quality ingredients, and everything I know from my Mom.  That's not to downplay Dad’s influence though.  In the world of grilled cheese, my father is a culinary master.

I still remember the first "recipe" I ever came up with and made on my own- oven potatoes.  That may have been an odd thing for a kid to cook up in their free time, but gosh they were good.  I would chop simple red potatoes into tiny cubes (that I wouldn't have the patience for today), drizzle them with olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper.  A 20-30 minute trip through the oven, and out came the crispy, slightly spicy, delicious little finger foods.  So simple, yet so good- as most of the best dishes are.

Of course there was also the time that I misread the cookie recipe and added a cup of salt instead of a teaspoon.  The common sense reflex hadn't kicked in yet apparently?  It's surely been a learning process and it'll surely continue to be, but that's the beauty of life and of cooking!    

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