I’ve been a cook/chef for over 39 yrs. and loving it. I grew up in an Italian home with a mom who really knew how to cook and bake. She was my teacher/mentor and expected nothing but perfection in everything I did. She would follow a recipe to a ‘T’ and expected that of me as well.
One of my earliest memories as a very little girl (about 4-5 yrs. old) was watching a cooking show on a local TV station. The lady’s name was Trudy McNall and she “became legendary with her Home Cooking Show, which was aired from 1953-1965.” Watching her gave me such a nice warm and homey feeling that I can remember saying, “I want to be just like her”.
In home economics class my teacher had me show the class how to make a pie shell because she never saw such good technique with excellent results in someone so young. I have my mom to thank for that. Thanks mom!!
Over the years, I would struggle because I didn’t like to follow recipes exactly, probably because I wasn’t a perfectionist, as were both of my parents. I would be encouraged by my husband to experiment and think outside of the box. This wasn’t easy for me but I took it a step at a time and eventually proved to be more than capable of creating recipes I could now call ‘my own’. I will be sharing some of them in future videos.
After about 10 years of marriage my adventures of creating my own recipes really began. It was really out of necessity that I had to begin thinking creatively in preparing our meals using the simplest potato and the pinto bean. Once a week I’d make a potato dish and a bean dish (and yes, we even ate oatmeal once a week). A soup and a pasta dish was always a warm welcome to our weekly menu.
I began re-creating even the hardest dishes that we enjoyed, namely ‘Gnocchi’ or ‘Lasagna” (those would take a whole day in our Italian home) in just 30 minutes. Sit down to a homemade Gnocchi meal in 30 minutes from start to finish OR sit down to a Lasagna meal (3-4 hours using your crock-pot) after just 30 minutes of preparation.
When the grandchildren (called me Me-Me) came, so did more creativity come to me. It was really fun to see them smile when presented with a mac and cheese dish that later became known as, “Me-Me’s famous mac and cheese” dish. When your grandchildren tell you to write down your recipe, you know it is a good and tasty ‘memorable dish’. These little ones are your best critics.
The kitchen brings life and love to me in relation to what I’m going to make because there are so many memories attached to all the different foods that I have made for my family and friends. The different side dishes, different main dishes, different desserts, are all entangled with a memory of a relationship that was being built either in making it, eating it, putting it away for left overs, or even making it all over again.
So come, let me invite you to an adventure of ‘my family time recipes’ and enjoy making each dish with me that is surrounded by so many memories that have become attached to each one of these dishes.
If you haven’t started already, begin a wonderful adventure of making your own memories around the dishes that you enjoy preparing for your family and friends!!