Baking is therapy.
This has been a stressful couple of weeks. Trying to balance the businesses, life, and myself is somewhat challenging at times. As always when there are highs … and the lows come to match them.
I kinda keep to myself lately … I think it may be a “nesting” thing. I’m in love with my life right now and being home and enjoying quality time with my kitchen has become one of my favorite things to do.
Here is a little back story … Growing up my dad had a restaurant. So food was a big part of our lives. I can still rely on my mom and dad to create an amazing meal anytime they are asked. My mom can bake like it’s nobodies business. Measuring cups? What are they? Recipes? never … just a whole lot of love and pure talent. My mom’s meatballs are a piece of heaven and my dad can make you weep with his bracioles.
Side Note: I have some of the pots and pans from my dad’s restaurant and they don’t even compare to what is on the market these days. I actually need to go home soon and grab some more because it creates the best food.
My Grandfather was the “Ravioli King”. He would make ravioli for most of the restaurants in our area growing up. Always homemade from the freshest ingredients. He was a master at making them and to this day no one’s even come close. I remember watching him mix the cheese and herbs in big 5 gallon tubs. Then watching him roll out the pasta was like watching a ballet. He would sit there all day stuffing them and pinching them closed. They never broke. It was one of the best parts of my childhood.
My grandmother would start cooking right after church on Sunday mornings. She also strung peppers to dry in the basement. I dream about those peppers and think about making them all the time … However I don’t have a basement with a coal stoker, so probably won’t be the same. She would mix those dried peppers with egg for breakfast. Yum city … She called it “ba-ba-da-gush” … that is spelled phonetically. I have no idea what the real Italian word is and I regret I never got it from her.
We had a garden and a herb garden. Our shopping consisted of me following my grandfather through the garden to pick tomatoes and peppers. Sometimes I would get to go to the Cheese Monger with him. The smell in that shop was so unique that I still remember it. I miss that garden. I will have one someday soon!
So cooking isn’t something I just “picked” up … thats the thing. It has always been a huge part of my life. I still call my mom every time I have a great kitchen success! And most of what I know came from her, my dad, and my grandparents.
It is a little therapy for me … I’m weird … I get really excited when my dough comes out right. I love playing with flour. But most importantly, I like making people happy and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like food.
I also love the science behind cooking. Learning about different kinds of flour, yeast, and reading about ingredients I’ve never heard of before. It also fun to guess what ingredients are in a dish when you are out eating and then trying to recreate it.
Which leads me to the point of this post! I need a challenge … what’s a great meal or dessert you have had. I wanna try and recreate it … leave a comment telling about it. Ill pick one this week and see what I can do! Make it a good one … not like a plain burger or something … something unique and yummy!
FYI: Next post is going to be about baking a New Orlean’s style King Cake … I’m really excited for this one.
6 responses to “The Culinary Challange …”
GREAT ARTICLE!!!! I so enjoyed it after following ur photographs on facebook!!
Thanks Jenn! Appreciate that 🙂
love it!! great article!
How come you didn’t tell us about this web site of yours. It is Excellent! Aunt Rita’s cooking is excellent and she has made me the favorite meal from my mother many times. It may sound simple, but cooking and flavoring is the challenge. Eye of the Round Roast Beef cooked so that it melts in your mouth. Still able to slice it but very tender and not rare, Mashed potatoes, fresh carrots, corn and rich brown gravy.
That sounds amazing!!! Those Fiorenza women can cook! And of course I could make a site for her. I would be happy to!
Can you make me a web site like this. Or maybe for Aunt Rita for her crafts