OH, Oh & Oh!!!
I just love reading all your stories! And yes Victoria, I READ cookbooks too. I find it one of the best ways to learn.
My Nana, bless her heart, started letting me help in the kitchen when I was barely big enough to walk. That’s how she treated all her grandkids. She said that every hand should help in making a meal in some shape or form. The young ones got things out of cupboards, the next oldest ones could help with mixing, peeling, skinning, etc., the next ones who were in school could set the table, bring out the linens, that sort of thing, while the aunts and uncles that came home for sunday supper would always bring a salad or side dish & friends would cut through her side yard to bring over a bottle of homemade this or that.
She was an excellent cook and baker and owned her own florist shop and nursery. If us kids asked on thursday night by a telephone call we could go and stay overnight friday night and do baking on saturday with her, but we had to help with chores afterwards. She would bake batchelor’s buttons, shortbread, oatmeal choco chippers, cheesecakes, just about everything. Her and her friends always had an impromptu food exchange going on since they all went through the 1930’s depression. She would bake something for someone and they in turn would give her something they had made. I can remember that one of the town’s butcher’s was sweet on her and after grandpa died the butcher waited the respectable amount of time and then presented her with two wild, fully dressed pheasants! Well we teased her about her ‘dinner date with the butcher’ after that!
But this woman instilled in me a true love of food and I mean all foods. I made my first pudding when I was 4 1/2 years old on a gas range! After that there was no stopping me. By the time I was 13 my family would ask for my leftover steak soup for supper the night after my dad had cooked steak for all of us. By the time I was 19, I was completing my food prep degree, working part time at a local Wendy’s store as the grill person, and running my own laundromat and still found time to cook sunday night suppers for my dad and myself.
I have always found time to indulge in my passion for food, whether it be cooking a meal, searching out wierd foods, challenging myself to make things I usually wouldn’t like homemade perogies, italian style homemade lasagna, pumpkin cheesecake, I just love it all. This I do in thanks and remembrance to my Nana, the lady that started me on my journey.