Friday, August 28, 2015

How I Learned to Cook

Recently, Grace was reading one of the blog books and came across the story of our wedding rings.  I"m sure we've told her before but this was the first time that it resonated with her and she had lots of questions.  It made me realize how important it is to tell stories of your past to your children and how they relish learning little bits and bobs about the you there was before them.  So I'm going to work on telling more stories (I hope I can remember them, my brain is like a sieve it seems!).  

I didn't grow up cooking.  In fact, if you ask my Mom she would tell you that I was hopeless and that I even insisted that she make me sandwiches because she made them better than I did.  So perhaps I was just lazy, but it all translated to the same thing.  I didn't cook.

I can trace my interest in cooking, and subsequently my learning to cook, back to a single vacation to Destin, Florida.  We were vacationing with my sister and my Mom, and I believe I had just graduated from UGA or was about to.  We were waiting for dinner (you know how long the waits are at the beach) and had wandered to a gift shop where I spotted the most charming cookbook I'd ever seen.  It was hand illustrated and it made me want to make every single dish in the book.  I bought it, made a recipe, Bryce hailed me as an amazing cook, as only true and new love would do, and the rest is history.

a (small) sampling

There is a big joke within our family about how long it used to take me to make a meal.  I would plan an elaborately themed meal that would take hours and hours to cook.  It wasn't unusual to not sit down to eat until 11:00 at night.  Looking back, I can't believe my family put up with it, they must have been starving!

To this day, I am drawn to beautiful cookbooks.  I read them like novels and can't seem to get enough.  From that first cookbook, Just a Matter of Thyme, I went on to discover Susan Branch, whose cookbooks have provided me with hours in the kitchen all while enjoying her darling stories and illustrations.

(this is the earliest dated notation and it's my Mom's handwriting)

The funny thing is that I consider myself pretty sufficient in the kitchen.  I make dinner almost every single night, but I still almost always follow a recipe.  I just don't seem to have the inherent skill to make my own creations, but that's ok, as long as I always have a beautiful cookbook to follow along with.

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