Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Musings On Cooking
I read Chicken Soup For the Soul - Food and Love today and I started musing. My story is different then many I read in this book.
Due to circumstances (life!) I had to grow up faster than I should have. Mom was ill when I was around 6-8 years old. So I started to help with food prep - first with the lovely ladies to stayed to help Mom out, then Mom as her health improved.
My parents were religious in keeping our 'Country' subscription up to date in those years. One day I saw a recipe I wanted to make in the clip'n'save section. Since I was to short to reach the counter, I grabbed a kitchen chair for my work space.
Then..... I made bread.
Now, where Mom was I have no memory. But she couldn't have been far away because I could reach the oven at that age.
Now, almost 20 years later, I still enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.
* I put learning canning and pickling on my bucket list in high school. Later came the desire to learn the art of lacto-fermentation.
So far I've conquered vinegar pickles and water bath canning. (Thank you Nana Pellman for being my kitchen guru even long distance!) I am in the process of learning pressure canning with my dad. Dad is an avid, long time canner. In his late college days though, he stopped for what would turn out to be many years.
Dad has been a big help in my learning water bath canning. And together, we learned from Nana (his mom) how to cook and can tomato juice, bread and butter pickles and applesauce. (See my earlier blog posts.) He encourages me in my learning more on these things, as he likes them as well. He is my taste tester many times for new recipes and has a pretty adventurous palate.
Mom? She's awesome about being sous chef to my messy kitchen chemistry, though she'll never stop teasing me about "a quarter cup baking soda!" in a 9 inch square cake. (I transposed measurements with horrible results. 4 tablespoons of cocoa became 4 tablespoons baking soda!) And tells me on a regular basis that I can dirty more dishes than the law allows! Sorry Mom!
I am also thankful for my paternal grandmother, my Nana for passing along her many years of kitchen experience to me. For answering the phone more times than either of us can count for canning or cooking related questions/crises. For patiently teaching me to not be afraid in the kitchen.*
Part of this post is copied from a journal entry back at the end of October 2013.
My resources - besides my grandmother! More will be added as I come across them.
The Joy Of Pickling
Mennonite Community Cookbook
The Joy of Jams, Jellies And Other Sweet Preserves
Ball Blue Book
National Center For Home Food Preservation
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth - Canning Corner
A Working Pantry
*Between the asterisks is brand new material.