Cooking Up Something Good

using recipes from grandmother's cookbook

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

~ Harriet van Horne

There’s something magical about cooking. More than just the science of diverse ingredients blending together into taste-tempting concoctions. The act of cooking for yourself or someone else, someone cooking for you, the simple slicing and stirring and combining of things brings a certain level of peace and satisfaction. At least to me, anyway.

I learned to cook by sitting on my mother’s kitchen counter, as did my brothers and sister. From the time we were old enough to hold a spoon without flipping the contents half-way across the kitchen, my mother would plop us on the counter and give us a bowl of things to stir together. I’m sure, especially when we were younger, this was her best way to keep tabs on us, to make sure we weren’t destroying some other part of the house. Eventually, we may have actually been a bit of help. But for me, the benefit of spending time sitting on that counter was to learn the magic of cooking. Of making something good.

In the days before Food Network and the Cooking Channel, there were only a handful of outside chefs to aid the process. My mother wasn’t a real fan of French food, so Julia Child never graced our television. About the only early television chef I remember watching was the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith. Otherwise, the task of teaching us to cook fell to mothers and grandmothers, and for that, I am definitely most grateful. Admittedly, though, I do cook like a 1950s housewife preparing for a church potluck, but at least the food is good.

In recent years, as cooking shows have proliferated on television, I have become fascinated with the chefs behind the shows. How did they get into the business? Who taught them the ins and outs of the kitchen? Luckily, I’ve had the chance to meet some of them at cooking shows or book signings and hear some of their stories.

But what about you? What’s your cooking story?

Some Chefs I Have Met

Patrick Meeting Rachael Ray Rachael Ray came to our local book store just a few days before her surgery, so she wasn’t able to give a talk to the waiting group. She did, however, sign books. Here’s my husband getting our book signed, and blushing because Rachael said he was a “snazzy dresser.”
Bobby Flay cooking at the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland.Bobby Flay cooking
Bobby Flay signing autographs Bobby Flay signing cookbooks.

Alton Brown and Patrick Patrick meeting his favorite, Alton Brown.

The Kachureks and Ming Tsai The Kachurek Family meets Ming Tsai at a book signing.

Alton Brown and Lynda My turn to get a picture with Alton Brown.

[Note: This post is #3 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “C” post was: Chapel Cars.]

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2 Comments

Filed under April A-to-Z Challenge

2 responses to “Cooking Up Something Good

  1. As I write this, the smells of dinner waft past my nostrils, engaging a hunger I didn’t know I had. The Chef? My son-in-law. I’ve learned a lot about the joys of cooking since he and my daughter moved in last summer.

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