Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg
Alix and Timothy, I'd love to dine with either of you. I'm somewhat unused to discussing cooking with real, enthusiastic chefs. That's one of the best things that I got out of this forum, being able to discuss cooking with fellow enthusiasts. At present I have only one friend who is an ardent chef, and all the rest of the people I know are either foodies, non-foodies, and none of them but one are chefs at all. I sometimes think that I'm the only chef/cook out there, just thankful that many of my friends are foodies even though they are not interested in cooking.
People who enjoy cooking are rare in life if my experience is any indication. Barring professional chefs most people divide into either foodies or gourmands, and few if any of them have any interest at the stove. Me and thee excepted of course!
I first entered the world of cooking at the tender age of 4 years. At the time, I stayed with my mother on week-days, and with my father on week-ends. They were divorced and lived on opposite sides of the town (small town). I was at Mom's house and she was baking stuffed acorn squash in the oven. This was back in 1959. I made my way to the stove/range and twisted the oven dial a bit. I increased the oven temperature, innocently of course
. The squash was burned and I got the strap, literally. I still remember how much it stung on my little bare bottom. I never touched the stove again, without close adult supervision until I was about 12. By then, I knew how to make pancakes, fried eggs, and could could heat up a can of beans with hot dogs as well as anyone, not to mention "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee" (sp) pizza kits. But it was the breaded, fried sardines that caught my parents attention. And I've been experimenting ever since.
Now I'm sure that many of my early experiments would be things not wanted on any plate.
But my rule was, and is - if I make it, I gotta eat it.
How many of you can remember cooking that first, perfect grilled cheese sandwich, or your first perfect beef roast on the charcoal grill, with everything from well done, to rare on the same roast, something for everyone.
I can cook so many more kinds of food than could my parents. But I can't make goulash, Great Lakes style, or pan fried, fresh, Lake Superior Brook Trout as good as my Dad could(of course that may have something to do with the quality of the fish). Nor can I top my Mother's chili, or baked foods (though I can make baked goods as good, and better pasties).
What my parents and grandparents made, they made very, very good. I've just branched out more into the world's cuisines than they did.
Do I love cooking? My wife gave up on cooking early in our marriage as I was always pestering her to try this, and change that, and add a bit of this, to her already good recipes. She threw up her hands one day and said, "That's it. I quit. The kitchen is yours." I've been the chef in my house ever since (chef means chief of the kitchen, and in my house, that's me.).
Here's a challenge for you. My oldest sister and I used to see who could make, and eat the most ridiculous sandwich. One would make it, and the other had to eat it. The challenge is to take a bit of anything available from the fridge and make a sandwich out of it. Then the person you are playing with must eat it, and return the favor. Mooohuahahahaha.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North