knittingknots (knittingknots) wrote,

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Writer's Block: Cooking Lessons

Who taught you how to cook?
I began learning to cook sometime around the age of five because my mom thought that was the right thing to do.  It started out simple: scrambled eggs, fried hamburger patties, heating canned veggies, making oatmeal.  When I was six or seven, I graduated to cake mixes and helping when she was cooking things from scratch.  When I was seven, she got me my first cookbook, something made by Domino Sugar for kids, called  "Cooking with Susan."

It was an old tradition in my family to take pride in one's cooking, and everybody had a collection of showoff recipes, and as time went by, I learned from my mom and her mother the mysteries of our own showoff cooking:  how to make the family turkey dressing recipe, the potato salad recipe, the chocolate cake.  When I was 13, I got my first real cookbook, my own copy of the ca. 1968 Betty Crocker cookbook. I studied that book for hours and hours, and began to  expand beyond the normal recipes we had been cooking - curry and soups and sukiyaki and other deserts and salads soon began to enter my repetoire, replacing chicken fried steak and pot roast as I got older.

Now I cook all sorts of things, some of which my grandma would be amazed I would even eat: miso soup and curried spinach and  stir-fry of all sorts, and tofu and pickled daikon amongst them.  But when it's holiday time, out come the old recipes: cornbread dressing with just the right touch of sage,  the traditional fruit salad, pecan pie.  Some things just don't go away.

Tags: writer's block

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