Friday, December 4, 2009

Discovering the Love of Cooking.....

I grew up in a very small town in Michigan.  We didn't live on a farm, as much as my husband likes to tease me about it, but we had a substantial garden and several amazing fruit trees.  The fruits of our labor included:  green beans, yellow (wax) beans, huge beautiful tomatoes, sweet corn, radishes, a couple varieties of lettuce, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelon, green apples, several different squashes, red apples, cherries, & a walnut tree, which served as home plate, didn't ever bare any fruit, I wonder why?  To this day we are very displeased with our Mom for picking that spot for a tree!  One other downside was that we had to "weed" the garden.....for 25 cents per row.....imagine how long that took to earn enough money to buy Gloria Vanderbilt designer jeans, geeze!

My Dad was a carpenter, he actually built our house (with a pretty awsome kitchen!) and my Mom, pictured above, stayed at home with us until my youngest sister Cherie was in first grade.  I also have three brothers, Rich, Steve, & Rod.  We had the most amazing childhood, we simply played.  No summer camp or play dates...simple, unorganized FUN!  We played baseball, kickball, 500, you name it.  We were outside from dawn till dusk, it was fabulous!  My Mom would ring a large cast iron bell, it could be heard from anywhere in our neighborhood, much to our chagrin, it was our signal to return to base camp.

My Mom was a "canning" machine.  Do you know what canning is?  I am not so sure that many people do it anymore, it is somewhat of a lost art.  She would purchase large amounts of fruit and vegetables, and then process them into beautiful, shiny jars filled with delictable foods that could be enjoyed throughout the winter.   We weren't fond of canning, not because we didn't enjoy the food, but we had to "assist" in the process.  I remember once we had to snap two bushels of green beans before we could go on say it was a daunting task would be an understatement!  Can you even imagine the complaining?!   Eventually we finished and we went on vacation, to this day that is discussed at huge family gatherings and laughed about!  Like most people, I have many, many memories surrounding food.

I remember the very first thing I made, on my own.  Into a cast iron skillet went about 1/2 cup of oil, sliced potatoes,  and onions.   Yes, I did burn myself.  Lesson number one, dang, hot oil smarts when it spatters on your skin!  Even though I suffered a pencil eraser sized 3rd degree burn, I was not discouraged.  I was so proud of my fried potatoes & onions!  With no food network or internet, I began to read cookbooks, a true love was born.

I hope you've enjoyed this little snippet, I just realized that I have so much more to write about, more about me another, about me....what a foreign concept.

Thanks for reading.


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