Heat and Light

Both are things we treasure in cold weather, especially as I witnessed a first ice fisher out there today, only a few feet from the jetty as the ice is thin.

We also treasure it in inspiration. I don’t remember cooking before age seven when I miraculously found a cookbook in a dusty village library while my mother was off to the grocery store.

The first recipe I ever cooked was from that book, Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook. It was curled carrots. I sliced carrots thinly, and placed them in ice water in the frig. Two hours later I took them out to serve. My grandfather was visiting at the time and he called them “suicide carrots.” Such was the beginning of my culinary life. Everything I cooked he thought he’d die from ingesting.

I wanted my grandfather, parents, siblings, friends and everyone to like me. I learned to cook. Perhaps the best thing my father liked was a cassoulet I made for him from Simca Beck’s recipe many years ago. I would love to make it for him again, with my brother, with two days in the kitchen and items from France I didn’t have. Or we could make it Italian. He may like it even better.

Aunts L and J were also wonderful mentors in cooking and proper English. They still love food and create food for those in need of a good meal, as volunteers.

I was devastated when my husband loved my ten minute (check blog) vegetarian lasagne more than my four-hour version with long-cooked Bolognese and boiled noodles. Then I realized if I made lasagne in ten minutes and cooked it for an hour we’d have more time together.

Lasagne = love? Food, sharing, togetherness, conversation, a toast, that is love. With my berry trifle, it’s also decadence.

As to food I’ve a final exam to pass. Our Swedish neighbor G taught me to make Kottbullar, Swedish meatballs, for us and my husband a few months ago and now I have to take the test and make it for him.

My challenge to Swedish G is true Texas chili, my riff on a classic 1962 recipe from Lady Bird Johnson that was served on the Pedernales ranch for 5,000 guests including JFK.

He’ll have to grind the meat, saute the onions and garlic, add spices and try it three hours later. Then he’ll have his test a couple of weeks later and make it for me. Food is love, darlin’. My husband loves G’s Kottbullar.

My view on life is that if anyone of any nationality or faith met another of a differing one and cooked and sat at a meal together there would not be wars.

Food is friendship, food is love, taste and sharing an experience. I am a complex person and use words to opine, not swards, guns or bombs. I think we spend a lot of our tax dollars for “diplomats” to dine with representatives of other nations. The food may be good but perhaps it is not enjoyed with the camaraderie that best represents our countries.

Savor. Let’s have presidents, princes, diplomats dig in a garden for their meal, together. Cook it, together, and serve, family style to their people. That may actually lead to a representative democracy here in the US of A. and may help other nations as well.

Early on my heat was an Easy Bake Oven. I used it three times. Cooking with a light bulb? Come on. From there I saw light. Thank you, everyone, for getting me here. Cheers! Dee


5 responses to “Heat and Light

  1. I beg to differ. Diplomatic meals, rubber chicken circuit, I got it back in the day. Perhaps that’s why our nations don’t get along.

  2. This was too spicy for P, but he was stealin’ bits o’ bacon out of the pan as I fried it up: http://www.ruled.me/buffalo-chicken-jalapeno-popper-casserole/
    (Note: I did not add ANY salt or pepper, & used Sriracha sauce)

  3. Great on the sriracha. I’ve had three bottles of that spicy condiment in my life and the first two were the main brand. Neither of the nozzles worked and they were very frustrating. Taste was great but delivery mechanism not so much. Tonight for my cold sesame noodles I’ll be using Sky Valley organic sriracha (gluten free if that makes a difference to you) and the delivery mechanism works perfectly. Remind me to make up last night’s wing recipe for you. Sorry, you have hens. Please apologize for me. D

  4. Lasagna = love, for sure! That’s my husband’s favorite thing.

    I had an Easy Bake Oven as a kid. Why cook over a lightbulb? I think I used it once.

  5. I was six and made pretzels and just needed more flour. The dough was so sticky and I didn’t know what to do, like adding flour. It was just a packaged mix. I’m sure you let your kids stand on a chair and knead dough. I would have always loved to be in a real kitchen than cooking under a light bulb. The brownies did turn out OK, for Barbie. But then, I wasn’t allowed to ever have a Barbie and didn’t learn why or care until college and Fr. Cap. Long story.

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