Julia Child, Martha Stewart and Me

Posted 7/2/17

 

 Before I cancelled my cable TV (because I was fed up listening and watching the mouthiest

 bigot to ever walk down the pike) I sometimes watched cooking shows. I knew I was never going to …

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Julia Child, Martha Stewart and Me

Posted

 

 Before I cancelled my cable TV (because I was fed up listening and watching the mouthiest

 bigot to ever walk down the pike) I sometimes watched cooking shows. I knew I was never going to make whatever dish they were demonstrating, though. Who could afford the ingredients, and who has kitchens, cookware and utensils like they use?  Not me.  I’m still using spatulas I had in the 70’s, and even though I bought myself a nice saucepan a few months back, I continue to grab that one pan that’s beat up and ugly but will always be my favorite.

               I started baking at a young age. I was about nine when I sat down with the Betty Crocker cookbook and followed directions on how to prepare a pan of brownies from scratch.  I loved that old cookbook and it still gets pulled off my bookshelf even today.  I learned how to make a loaf of bread using yeast, how to whip up a couple glasses of eggnog, how to make fluffy white frosting by boiling corn syrup, how to bake and stuff a turkey, how to make perfect pie crust, and of course, chocolate chip cookies.  No matter how small and shabby your home may be, get a sheet of cookies going in the oven, and the house takes on a whole new look.

               My cooking skills have taken a nose dive the past few years.  Partly, I suppose, because I don’t have the energy required. Or the patience.  The variety available today at the supermarket is just too enticing to ignore.  And then there’s always that cost of ingredients.  I think you’re money ahead to buy a lot of things already made up for you. Especially with microwaves, and delis being stocked as well as they are.

               Eating habits change over time.  Sometimes it’s because your stomach won’t tolerate a lot of the foods you used to enjoy. Sometimes it’s because the food you’d like to buy is too expensive for your budget. Sometimes it’s because your lifestyle changes and you don’t have people over to dinner the way you used to. Kids leave the nest, friends pass away or move away, neighborhoods change, you retire and your whole activity routine can be altered overnight.

               I was never a great cook but I was a whole lot better than I am now! I baked a batch of oatmeal cookies this afternoon; well, actually half a batch, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why my oatmeal cookies never turn out the way they’re supposed to.  Perhaps God is sending me a message. Could be he feels I’ve had enough cookies in this lifetime.

               After viewing my high school alumni photos on Facebook, I’d say I’ve had enough of a whole lot of things besides cookies.  When I looked through my photo collection, I was surprised I had very few of me working in the kitchen. Odd because it seems I was ALWAYS in the kitchen. At any rate, I found one from the 1980s when I lived on Rose Street. I always liked this picture and I’m thinking maybe I need to tape it up on the refrigerator as a reminder of how I could look if cookies would only lose their appeal. 

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