Have you ever had to write one of these?
Not an easy task.
What should I share about myself and will you really care at all, as long as I give you reliable, honest information and offer you recipes that taste delish and give instructions that can be followed easily?
Perhaps I should start with why I love to cook. Cooking is a connection to heritage and family for many of us, especially when we are far from our roots or our ancestral homes. That’s the case for me.
As an adult who has had my own home for more than 25 years I reconnect with the warmth of my childhood and the sense of belonging to my roots in the kitchen. It’s also the place where I am best able to show my love for my loved ones by preparing meals that delight and also help them to connect to their own roots and warm family memories.
I have never been married, nor had a child. I have, however, been in a partnership for nearly 24 years.
My partner is black to my white. He is not American born but dreamed of being an American since his first memories of watching Westerns in movie theaters in Casablanca Morocco where he was born. I, on the other hand, was born smack in the middle of the heartland of the US. St. Louis, Missouri to be more specific. We are both Jewish although I am of European descent and he is of Spanish descent making me an Ashkenazi and him a Sephardic Jew. Our inside joke being, I am a white rat and he is a black one. Calm down! We think it’s funny.
I am the youngest of three and come from a conventional, yet oh so unconventional, family. (a story for another blog). When my parents met and married Mom could not cook. There’s a funny story from their dating days that I may share to highlight just how little she knew about cooking. However, she became, through the years of their marriage, a self-taught gourmet cook.
I guess that’s where I get it in part. I watched and helped my mom in the kitchen quite often. When she returned to work when I was 7 the cooking fell to my siblings. Later I became a part of that team and helped cook also. So my cooking skills were honed quite early on in my life.
I also think in part it’s a genetic memory. You see my mother’s father was born in Holland and they were a family of bakers and tailors. So cooking is in my blood in a manner of speaking. As young wives my mother and her sisters would watch a favorite uncle assemble his secret recipes and scribble wildly to get every ingredient and step, because Uncle Jakey did not write down his recipes and if one wanted to have them it was every woman for herself.
Long before I knew my partner existed on the planet I was lucky enough to go on a vacation with my maternal grandmother that included Casablanca, as well as other cities in Morocco. I had tasted the food, needless to say, but had never cooked it, nor did I even know where to begin. I knew however that just as certain things my mother made for me as a child made me feel happy and loved that he no doubt had similar food moments. So I endeavored to learn how to cook food the way his mother had, although I had zero information nor guidance. Diving into the deep end can be a powerful motivator especially when inspired and fueled by love.
I think my greatest inspiration in the kitchen is that it’s a way I can connect people with feelings of safety, warmth, and being loved by what I prepare, and how I prepare the food I present to them. It is often said that the key ingredient in truly great food is love (or passion). That’s one ingredient that has no shelf price.
As we go along you’ll get to know more about me, but for now I think that’s enough touchy feely gut spilling from me … now … let’s go talk Thrifty Food(ies).
P.S. Did any of you notice that this about me page is about almost everything BUT ME?