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Old 08-13-2008, 07:47 PM   #31
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My mom is truly a great cook. She can cook and she can bake. She can feel the foods. As I've learning to cook some more ethnic foods she was there right alone side of me learning it too. She is way ahead of me of course. It's like as if she has always been cooking Mexican food or Chinese. And when it comes to baking oh my, she is absolutely awesome. Russian baking is very involved, some times it takes hours just to bake, what we called tort, but it is more like a heavy cakes. Most of them are very complicated multi layered, multi frosted (if I can say that). I learned to love cooking from her. I can’t say though that I learned cooking from her that I did on my own, when I had to cook, living on my own. At home I did spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but never for cooking; mostly talking to her while she was cooking. She’d never let me do anything. I’m too slow for her. She is incredibly fast with everything she does. But lately she started to slow down; years are talking tall on her. There is much to learn from her and I really must do it now, before it is too late (G-d forbid). I need to venture into baking, that is my weak side. I can bake couple of things here and there, and can force my self to read the recipe and try to fallow it, but it is hard.

P.S. I have to ad though, my grandma, was truly phenomenal cook. She had a lot of time on her hands, she never worked, even when my grand father was thrown in to jail by Stalin’s tugs, she did not work. So she’d spend her entire day in the kitchen (cooking and cooking and cooking that included baking too). Perfecting one dish after another. She made these blintzes, I can still taste them in my mouse, nobody could make them that great, and I seriously mean nobody. She could seriously cook and my grand father could seriously eat. He was about 6 feet tall and incredibly strong. There is a picture of him, during WWII; he is lifting a horse on his back, no props, no digital photography, real stuff. My mom likes to tell story how grandma made like 100 or so pirogies; we still call them vareniki, for the guests for the next day. Grandpa came home late from work, when everybody were already asleep, pool out the bowl out refrigerator, and ate them called. By the time grandma woke up wand went into the kitchen to see who was making the noise he was almost done with them. Well, she had to start over, but he loved it. He really appreciated everything she cooked. Even though I think he’d eat anything you’d put in front of him. He always made sure to tell her how wonderful everything was and how much he loved it. She in turn would cook more. That was an ideal situation. G-d I miss them.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:13 PM   #32
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Mom and Dad both came from families whose idea of a great dinner was throwing it all in a pot and boiling it until everything was in shades of gray. So Mom learned to cook from the military wives we knew growing up. Japanese, French, Italian and German were strongly featured. In those days Dad was an adventurous eater. Now he's more a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, except when I make my periodic forays to Florida. Then he wants sushi and other cuisines that he wants a "guide" to. So, yes, Mom was a good cook, seemed to enjoy it, and taught me young.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:14 PM   #33
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mine was an ok cook, very plain. she liked to eat out as she got older.my dad did some cooking, very basic things, chili etc.

i am completely self taught plus 50 or so years of experience. i consider myself a good cook, not at all a chef. i do experiment with different foods and dishes. and have a fairly good imagination when doing it. i like it, she didn't

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:25 PM   #34
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ah, Charlie, what great memories and also from the rest of you......obviously, I grew up in a deprived hands on cooking environment. :) Your mom sounds like she was fantastic in the kitchen.......I've tasted the cakes over here (tortes) and believe me they do look involved but really good and I don't eat desserts per se. But there is a custom here, that maybe you're familiar with, Charlie, people bring their own cakes to celebrate their birthdays and any celebration and share it with people........I think that it's a nice one........so I've toasted with several of these delicious tortes........and pirogies are to die for......I really need to have one of the girls at the office show me how to make those before I leave.........you were certainly lucky!!! :)
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:28 PM   #35
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My mom was an OK recipe follower, but had and has no common cooking sense. She can not deviate from a recipe at all, or else it will spell disaster. When we were really young, my mother did all the cooking. She made the basics, mac and cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti... She learned from her mother who was kosher, diabetic, ulcers, hypertension, history or heart disease .... and therefore had an extremely restricted diet. So her food was bland, no salt, no sugar.....

Finally, at the age of 40, my mother went back to school to become a nurse, and my dad started to cook. He cooked prior to this, but only certain things like the grill, clam chowder, onion soup and more exotic things like moo goo gai pan (sp). He did it because he liked to, my mother did it because she had to. Anyway, my dad ultimately took over ( thank god), so for me, it is extremely normal for the male to do the cooking. Even my kids feel this way, and seem surprised when my wife actually makes dinner. Her friend are like " what? your dad is cooking?? " But once again, my wife is either a terrible cook, or she just pretends to be that way so ill do all the cooking, but i love it :)
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:52 PM   #36
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I actually learned to cook from my mother-in-law, Mary. Mary had some basic recipes that were wonderful and she believed in using either fresh or frozen veggies and she seasoned them with a bit of sugar, salt and pepper, and a little butter. They were wonderful.. She was able to entice me to leave the corn only veggies diet........her Thanksgiving dinners were to die for.......the best gravy and she was infamous for her homemade pecan, mincemeat, and pumpkin pies, and dressing with cornbread.......the best gift I've ever received was a collection of her best recipes put together by my father-in-law.......the best praise was when they both said that I had become a good cook myself......I said that it was all due to her........
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:56 PM   #37
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Speaking of surprises and prises. My mom the other day told me that I am a better cook than she is, I think it was just a compliment, but what a Compliment that was!
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:45 PM   #38
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I was lucky enough to have a mom who's a wonderful cook
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:21 AM   #39
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My mother was a fantastic cook For many years she was the head cook at the largest family restaurant in Des Moines Ia late 30Ty's till 1958. We always had a garden and her cooking skills were great she taught me the basics and a lot more before I went to work in the hotel where I apprentice for 10 years under a master chef I am the richer for her skills and teaching me how to organize and cook under pressure
I miss her very much and wish I could pick up the phone and say how you doing MOM
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:17 AM   #40
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yeah, me, too....I think that there all kinds of legacies we inherit one way or the other
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