The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Saturday, December 9, 2006

My Culinary Hero's

It was long before the popularity of the the Food Network that my love affair with cooking began. My little Irish grandmother, married an Italian from Baltimore, and was instantly brought into his family and learned all of the age old recipes from this country and Sicily. My grandfather's family had been in the US over a decade and were very much assimilated into the city life. My great uncles and their children ran their very own vegetable stand at various open air markets that existed in Baltimore during the time. To this day my favorite way to spend early Saturday morning's in the spring is at the farmers market in Waverly .

The kitchen has always been the center of every home in my family. Something behind the traditions of recipes passed from generation to generation.... it's the stories and events surrounding those meals, that make them memorable. My immigrant family didn't have a lot of wealth to pass down, but the art of cooking... that was the true gift. When I was 12, my grandmother decided to teach me a new recipe every time I was over (usually Saturdays) and she and I began learning the basics of cooking. The first things I learned were basic tomato sauces as they are typically "easy" to make but require a long simmering time (for traditional, old world sauce methods) and I eventually graduated to full on dinner menu's.

My grandmother was my culinary hero...no doubt about. Not only did she come from Ireland to a new world, a new family and a much different lifestyle (imagine coming from a small farm in 1940's Ireland, to a bustling city like Baltimore)... but she had a family, and managed to be a better cook than many of the old Italian Aunts/Mothers etc that dominated her husbands world.

She taught me the importance of a good wooden spoon and an effective spatula. Only she, my mother and I can truly appreciate those kinds of treasures.

1 comment:

Meri said...

As my grandpa had my sister and I going through all my nana's belongings last week, of course he thought we were most interested in the "good stuff". Little did he know that what we considered the good stuff was her cook book and recipe collection!! He laughed and said, "unfortunatley she took that with her", because little did we know, she was such a good cook she just made everything up as she went along. So now all i have is my memories of nana's spare ribs, shrimp salad and lo mein.

You are so very lucky to have had that time w/ your grandma and learned so much! Cherish that forever!