A list of cooking stories and memoirs appear below this first entry. To find them, enter the name of it that you are interested in, into the “search” box in the right hand column of of these blog pages!
“Seek and ye shall find!”
MEMOIR #1 ~ RECIPES AS LIFE MARKERS
So the task this afternoon was a baking one. I was here listening to beautiful bittersweet mellow music on a “new age” Pandora channel, making a pumpkin pie to take to tomorrow’s out-of-state visit with my adult children and their kids, while hubbies go off to the big game in Boston. I chose to make pumpkin pie because it is somewhat easy, and because I am still experimenting with a new countertop oven, in the hopes that when I try to bake something for a pot luck or a desert here, I will know how this oven works and how to adjust the temperature so that things don’t burn.
I was thinking about also making a batch of special oatmeal raisin cookies that I made a trillion years ago when I used to bake occasionally. I have been going through my cooking files looking for the recipe..and…well…kind of curiously it was like going through the various chapters of my life when certain recipes and foods were part of those chapters: recipes from when I was first married many many years ago trying my “wings’ in the kitchen with Betty Crocker’s “Dinner for Two” and my mother’s favorite sauces and stews, followed by recipes enthusiastically whipped up during my marriage when the graduate student community shared styles of cooking from around the world. Then, recipes from the years of single parenting when meals needed to be affordable as well as delicious and nourishing to keep it all together for myself and the growing children, and at present, simple and quick recipes for a single lifestyle when the “kids” are long gone, raising their own families. Now is the time of cooking Sensuous Soups and Suppers for One usually, or of course doubled or quadrupled when necessary.
As I sorted through these bits of paper and notes, each phase of life seemed so distinct and each had some unique culinarylessons and adventures to experience in the world of home cooking.
The recipes were clipped from magazines or newspapers, or cut from the backs of ingredient boxes, many tried and enjoyed but many yet to be tried although they have been kept in a large plastic baggie or stuck in between the pages of cookbooks for all these years..and pretty much forgotten. Some I had written out, some were given to me by others. In several instances, I can remember the exact occasion that prompted the sharing..a dessert bar eaten at the home of a piano student or an orzo salad I had raved about at a friend’s house for lunch, she graciously sharing the secret ingredients and cooking instructions.
And then… a recipe in my mother’s handwriting. How familiar it is. Why did that shake me up a bit? She’s gone now, having passed on last year, but her handwriting is SO here. So clear. So her.
What is it about the handwriting of a person that though silent is still a Voice, a Presence..un-mistakenly personal? And real.
I never did make it, tho it had been filed away for “sometime”.
ps: I’ll try the recipe: Mexican Potato Cheese Soup
Memoir #2 Laughter in the Kitchen
Memoir #3 The Treasured Spatula
Memoir #4 Foodie Flops: Behind the Scenes on a Cooking Blog
Memoir #5 Can a Simple Supper Be Sensuous? Yes!