I believe my most faithful blog reader is my lovely Mama, Kitty Ann (Julie). Upon her reading my kitchen questions yesterday, she e-mailed answers to #18. Here is her authorized revelation:
"On your cooking history, when you were little, you liked to watch me cook, and you loved to beat on the pots and pans with wooden spoons. You loved to play with an old aluminum coffeepot, cute little teapots, and cute little cups (foreshadowing, I guess). You loved to put Cool Whip on angel food cake or strawberries. Cool Whip is a fun food when you think about it (we have a picture of you icing your birthday cake with Cool Whip when you turned 5). I would ask if you wanted to make cookies and you would say, "No, but you can, though." I thought that was a true sign of genius as I would measure the flour & sugar, turn on the oven, and grease the cookie sheets time after time.
We always had so much company, and I was always cooking something to feed our friends, family, and random strangers. You may have perceived the stress and mess of cooking as too much trouble. You were much more interested in observing the people at our house, looking through your books and magazines, playing with your dolls & animals, and listening to the music of the day. What can I say?"
I found this enlightening! And, I'm grateful because I remember a lot from childhood but I forget details, too. Not only were the coffeepot, teapots, and cups & saucers a foreshadowing, but how about beating pots and pans with wooden spoons? I was content with percussive sounds at an early age as I am now, married to a drummer. I confess I do still people-watch, and of course I'm currently held captive by books, magazines, and music. This anecdote captures half of my Mom's greatness: she is replete with grace, hospitality, kindness, thoughtfulness, and she had a knack for encouraging me and my brother to pursue what we naturally enjoyed. The other half of her magnificence is that she is the craziest person I know, and a very good cook. Johnny is next in line for the Crazy Award. But I should mention I did not perceive only stress in cooking. One of my strengths and vices both is that I learn slowly; this is positive in that lessons sink in deeply and near-permanently. I may have dived into cooking in my late 20s and now at 31, but I truly enjoy it, especially baking which my childhood love of cake and Cool Whip portended.
As an afterthought, I discovered Lucinda Williams's World Without Tears album is perfect salad washing/chopping music. Turn it up loud. And, my Mom found her Mom's (my Nina's) aprons as well as ones Nina made for my Mom's 8th grade home economics class. Those will strongly rival Little Birds's aprons.
Posted by jenni at 2:35 PM