It's been almost 2 weeks since I started this blog. After posting 3 times I went into a writing desert. Didn't have anything of a driving force which made me want to write. So, now here I am...thinking of my other passion....COOKING! Yes, I said that right....I love to cook! Most of us who are not chefs, or cook for a living try to get out of cooking....but I love it...it's theraputic for me. "Sorta" like writing! Don't get me wrong...sometimes life keeps me too busy to really "cook"....that's when I revert to throwing something together. However, when I have time to get in the kitchen and dive into the ingredients...I have a good time. I find myself thinking as I cook a family recipe..."why do I do it this way?" The answer always is: "because my mother did it this way". For instance...I love to cook rump roasts and I serve them all the time when we have company. Someone asked me recently....what do you do to the roast? I replied that I season the meat, make pockets to stuff garlic and green pepper, then dredge (Mother's term) the roast with flour and sprinkle with paprika. Finally, put in a granite roasting pan, drizzle with oil and put in 450 degree oven for about 10 min. for it to brown. After 10 minutes or so...pour a little water over the roast and then cover and turn oven down to 350 degrees and cook the roast for about 30 min. per lb.
Yesterday, as I was pouring the water over the roast, I chuckled to myself when I thought of all the years I've done that for no other reason then that's the way Momma did it!
My mother has been gone for about 20 years now, but I can imagine her looking down over my shoulder and making sure I "do it right". I think of all the years I could not make the pralines (from Mother's recipe) turn out right. I struggled and struggled...most of the time coming out with a taffy-like consistency. Well one day I couldn't take it any longer and called my sister Marilyn (my second Momma) and told her of my delimma. She had me go over with her the way I was cooking the ingredients...then when I told her what I used and how much of each ingredient she solved my problem! All I had to do was decrease the amount of "Karo" syrup I was using and voila! The next batch of pralines came out pefect and have been perfect ever since! In fact, they are now my husband's favorite!!
Yes, my mother sure did like to cook. She was always in the kitchen. Ironically, she never taught me. Can you believe that....well, maybe she did teach me. I watched her cook and what's caught is sometimes more important than what's taught!
I suppose I learned by watching and subconsciously it became a part of me. Now don't get me wrong...when I was first married, I would call her and she would help me over the phone to cook stuff as easy as Red Beans and Saugsage! Man, if only we would have had Food TV back then!
That brings me to how I honed my skills...yes...watching the Food Network particularly, Paul Deen. In fact, she is what I guess you can call my kitchen hero. I have her cook books, go to her website all the time, have a subscription to her magazine..which I have every one she has done..they are collector's items. Her recipes are easy, simple ingredients and never come out bad! If one has sour cream, butter and mayo on hand you can prepare anything she has in her books!
That brings me to drop in a little political flavor
here..about..butter...please Mrs. Obama don't get your husband to ban butter. Restaurants will have to sneak it in the food if the government has their way! Paula Deen may even be in danger of sanctions or God forbid, arrest! Butter flavors everything and makes it all better, from bread to green beans and yes, even my pralines!