Through the Fire
Who taught you to cook ? and how old were you ?
I don’t remember exactly but I was young. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my mom in the kitchen. I was expected to learn all those housewifely things.Fortunately, I loved them all. By the time I was old enough to actually be a housewife, I was an ardent feminist and no one was going to domesticate me or make me do ironing! I don’t iron much but I do still love to cook.
I was a member of 4-H and did many cooking projects, got my Girl Scout cooking merit badges,and took Home Ec in junior high school ( as I remember, we didn’t have a choice, but again, I loved it.) I spent many happy hours in the kitchen with my mom, watching and learning, and graduating to doing cooking on my own.
My first cookbook of my very own was the Betty Crocker Junior Cookbook (amazingly,available as a reprint on Amazon.) I am not sure what cookbooks I carried out into the adult world with me but one of the very first ones I bought for myself was Laurel’s Kitchen, a very thorough introduction to Vegetarian cooking, a classic for the 70’s.
I often wish I had some young person to teach about cooking. I love to think about the lineage of cooking, the history of all that knowledge getting passed down generation to generation. I know it has been lost for many families as we get busier and busier and have disconnected from doing much cooking. So much love has been shared in kitchens for as long as there have been such rooms, and before that, around the fires. So many stories. So much laughter and tears. Sometimes, I could tell my mom things when our hands were busy that I might not have been able to otherwise.
I have been part of a Personal Chef community for many years now. We started out knowing each other on line, and at annual conventions of our Personal Chef Network organization.Sadly, after some events which turned sordid, this wonderful group was forced to disband. Most of us moved over to Facebook and have become fast friends, with get togethers here and there. Here, too, when a group of mostly women, mostly rowdy, all excellent cooks, get together, there is joy, laughter, tears. So many stories, so much love and camaraderie in the kitchen. We learn from each other daily. We are so lucky to have this bond, this connection with food, with food as love, with the joy of community connection. Thanks, Sharon, Wendy, and our dear sweet Brent.
I’d love to hear your stories of learning to cook. Who do you cook with now ??
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