Monday, December 7, 2009

How I Learned To Cook

I started cooking before I was born. After all, I was a bun in my mother's oven!
Ok, let's rip that psychologically damaging imagery out of our minds.
On with my story....

This is my Mom and me. (I still have those big feet :P )
Looks like I'm eating some soup. Yum.
I still eat soup like that too - feet on the table.
Before I was born, my Mom worked in a cafe.
After I was born, she took me to work with her.
She would rise hours before dawn, tuck me into a corduroy kangaroo-pouch-baby-carrier-thingy and jog downtown to the cafe.
Then, she would bake dozens of loaves of bread, sweet rolls, croissants, cakes, pies, soups and the special of the day - pot roast, lasagna, ect.
While she beat eggs and kneaded dough, I was still strapped into my snuggly kangaroo pouch picking up cooking tips (and probably napping).

Before I was one, I learned how to use a spoon..... to mix up homemade bread.

Later I progressed to using a knife.
Check out those peeling skills!
And the half chewed cucumber in the salad.

Baking bread with Mom.

And making pie crust.
I'm about 2 1/2 in this picture.

Frying up breakfast.

And here I am at four years old.
This might look like a cardboard kitchen (or just a cardboard box, if you're really bad at imagining), but for me - this was my studio.
I wanted to be The Frugal Gourmet.
You don't know who that is?
Ok, he was a TV chef with a cooking show and he had an assistant named John.
It was great!
For years and years Frugal Gourmet was the only game I would play.
My Mom was John, so....she did the dishes.
I had a little crock pot and all day long I would put things into it and stir it and put more "secret" ingredients into it.
Then, when my Dad came home we would have candlelight suppers and they would eat my Crockpot Delight.
It took me a long time to figure out why we ate by candlelight.
They must have loved me a lot.
Bearing in mind, I thought salt was a major ingredient and paprika was a magic flavoring.
I wrote a recipe for bread: Take 1 cup salt, 3 cup floer mix togeter and add hony, egg and milk. Beat and leve for 5 houers to rise. Bake at 560 degres for 3 houers.
So, that's how I learned how to cook and love food.
Mostly from my Mom, with a little dash of celebrity inspiration a la Frugal Gourmet as a 'secret' ingredient.


  1. i love this post! what a fun way to present how you learned to cook! I think I learned to cook from my mom too. I pretended I wasn't interested in cooking but always watched her cook. :)

  2. Same here.... Mum, bless her heart was so patient with me and let me spend ages in the kitchen... mess and all!!xxx

  3. darling photos / great story . . . i had forgotten about the frugal gourmet! thanks for the mother-memories!

  4. Great story, and great pictures! You're so lucky your mom included you in her kitchen projects!

  5. What a great post. I really enjoyed reading your cooking journey. I didn't start quite so young but my mum also included me in cooking and I loved it too.

  6. So cute! Maybe my toddler doesn't need a plastic toy kitchen after all.

  7. This is the best idea for a post. What a grand journey you've been on and now you carry the torch and cook!

  8. I love your story, it's been a culinary adventure for you :)

  9. Nice background story.

    I also did a lot of Frugal Gourmet watching, but soured on it before the public info on Jeff Smith was out, due to finding out how unpleasant he had been as a guest of honor at a grand opening. It tainted the show for me, but I did learn a lot from it before then.

  10. What a sweet story! The picture of you rolling pie crust is adorable and sitting up to the stove. Your Mom sounds like an excellent cook too.

  11. Adorable photos and sweet memories. I, so, remember when PBS was the only game in town. My weekends were all about Frugal Gourmet and Yan Can Cook.

  12. This is just adorable! Jeff Smith was a big man around town here in Seattle before his fall from grace, I remember his show well. I love your box and the loving pics of you and your mom. What special memories! My grandma and I used to always make bread when she came to visit and every time I make bread I think of her.

  13. Ha! I used to love the "Frug" too--I would watch that after Saturday morning cartoons. I watched when his assistant was Craig though...and I never thought Craig got to do much other than take away dirty dishes, etc. ;-)

    Frugal doesn't mean you're cheap, Frugal means you don't waste anything. The Frug may have had his fall from grace, but there's a motto to live by.

  14. This is the sweetest thing ever. Your mom sounds awesome! I have a mom like that (and let's not forget awesome dads!) and now I'm trying to be one with my boy. We make bread all the time!

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  16. Great memories & stories! I made a lot of cookies with my mom as a kid and love to cook also. I am having a blast teaching my 2 yr. old how to cook. So far, she loves it! She loves to make bread dough. Awesome!