One of my very favorite things in the whole world is to cook good food for good people.
Today I got to do just that.
Let me state for the record the record that the food today could not have been so utterly amazing without copious amounts of help and support from my adorable family. My mom is my personal angel. She always seems to have energy to do one more thing...and then another. My dad chops onions like a pro and my brother is very good with seasonings. Their talents, and willingness to share their time, helped me in immeasurable ways tonight. I am very pleased to be related to them.
In any case, cooking is only fun when performed for and with good people. Passion is a flavor and without it any dish would taste almost two dimensional. Flat. Missing something important.
Cooking has always reminded me of family.
My mother, married at 19, had very little practical knowledge of culinary arts when setting up house. My dad's mother was a ranch wife with a whole lot of practical knowledge on every aspect of managing a household -- especially feeding large crowds. Grandma taught Mom to cook robust but inexpensive meals. Mom picked up the recipes quickly and discovered a natural talent in the kitchen.
My childhood was spent enjoying "experiments" with food as new recipes were developed. I watched carefully as Mom seasoned, stirred, assembled, chopped, and mixed a variety of foods. By the time I was five, she judged me to be responsible enough to help prepare food and trusted me with a sharp knife. When I was about eight I made my first meal: spaghetti with red sauce. Mom shouted out seasonings for the tomato sauce from another room and I carefully stirred it all together, tasting and adjusting as it simmered.
Tomato sauce is still one of my very favorite things to make. It's so versatile!
At eight years old I also memorized the chocolate cake recipe on the back of the Hersey's cocoa powder box. Making a cake a week for a month or more increased my confidence in baking and I began experimenting and tweaking the recipe until I found exactly what I liked best.
Although I don't have the recipe memorized anymore, I still enjoy tweaking my cakes and adding just a little more cocoa or vanilla or adding butter instead of oil.
My chocolate cake is delicious.
I dare you to hate it. Double dog dare you.
Unless you are allergic to/hate the taste of chocolate. In which, case, I will make you creme brulee.
My creme brulee is also delicious.
I intend to be in the kitchen tomorrow. What do you want to eat?
Come to Erda and I will feed you!