Saturday, July 18, 2009

Life, Food, Love, & Flavor

From my earliest age, Food was always a part of my life. I cooked my first time by myself when I was around 7 years of age. I was not supposed to but being raised on a farm in Central IL, everyone one who could have prepared a meal was out farming. So I being a master culinaire of PBJ, Cheese Sandwiches (Velveeta), and the classic Mayo or Butter Sandwiches, decided that I wanted a hamburger!
I got my pan out, turned on my mother's ancient gas stove, pattied out a rather large raw meat hamburger and began to pan fry it. It browned quickly and I thought it was done...
Wrong... This was the most raw burger I have ever seen since!
But from there things have gotten better. I then was encouraged to take a project in 4-H of cooking, there I perfected the cooking of Peanut Butter Cookies, and got a blue ribbon at the county fair. My mother taught me alot about cooking, then there were my Grandmothers, one a farmers wife and the other suburban housewife, who grew up in Chicago. Both lived thru the depression, gardened, cooked real home cooked meals, both for large families or lots of farm hands. It was at their sides, I learned to cook immense amounts of food with lots of flavor, lots of love, and to live life.
Whether it was preparing a meal for the farm hands, a family dinner for a holiday, birthday, or some church dinner, there was always some reason to cook table fulls of food. I would be remiss in mentioning where I came from in Audobon Township, I think we had more than our far share of great country cooks. When there was not a family dinner, holiday, or birthday party, there was some gathering requiring lots of food; The Fox & Coyote Drive, Chilli Supper, Oyster Supper, Pancake & Sausage Breakfast, etc. There was not a lady in the county or township who would not share her recipes proudly!
Then there was the many funeral dinners, that I went to, this being a small town community, when someone died, there was food to be taken to the home of the deceased, the church where the funeral dinner was held. Then there was the various dinners, pot lucks, and such when there was a holiday, season change, or revival. So I had plenty of opportunity to sample great foods prepared with lots of love for others.
This has given me a great deal of love for food, people, life, and flavor. I discovered many years ago, that the best food was prepared with lots of love and if there is no love, I have found it is edible but that the unique flavor imbued in the food is not there! I have no scientific proof of this ingredient called love, but I have my experiences.
I have always cooked, for my family, friends, and dates. I love cooking and from my father, who by the way knows his way around a kitchen, campfire, and grill; I learned to be experimental and to throw things together to make tasty meals. This gave me a love of creating my own recipes. Recently, I have began to write down my creations and one day, I hope to publish a cookbook. Additionally, my father's Aunt Viginia and her husband Uncle Dale owned the Morrisonville Cafe for many years, I saw how people loved them and swore by their food, they in turn loved the people who they cooked for. My late Grandfather, (father's father) was a master on the grill, when he passed away in 1993, I recieved his grill and used it for many years until it was stolen from my patio. My family already has a simple cookbook put together of family & friends recipes.
Please enjoy this blog as I post my recipes in the future, along with pictures of the completed foods. Should you ever need any clarifications, have questions, please feel free to ask me. I can also search for recipes should you wish to cook something and do not have the recipe. Great cooking and enjoy a flavorful life full of love and great food!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Skip, it sounds like we both love to cook for the same reasons. I grew up in St. Peters, MO so cooking wasn't about community (so much as it was about feeding our family of 8) growing up, but as I've grown older it's definitely all about spending time with people you care about, and cooking a big ole pancake breakfast for everyone you can find, just because you can.