Sunday, January 12, 2014

Appreciation for freshly prepared foods all begins here...

...helping Mom with the holiday baking or preparing dinner for the family.  The photo is of my daughter-in-law, Lori, at the tender young age of five helping her mother, Gloria, roll out the pie dough for Thanksgiving pies.  It's a tradition that she still follows the day before Thanksgiving in her mother's kitchen.  Lori is quite a good cook who can make an awesome meatloaf.  She also likes to bake delicious cookies, cupcakes, and pumpkin breads that she gives out as Christmas gifts to her family and friends.  I enjoy cooking with Lori because she quickly and adeptly prepares the menu items based on her cooking experience while growing up.

My daughter, Alexandra, also helped me with baking and cooking also starting at age five.  As a teenager, when Alex came home from boarding school during the Christmas holiday season break, she couldn't wait to begin decorating the gingerbread house that she requested I make for her.  She happily spent hours piping royal icing onto it creating her own design and placing the various candies onto it.  After sleeping in late the next morning, Alex would come back into the kitchen and ask what we would be making for dinner. After deciding which menu items we would be preparing, I instructed her to read through the recipe to gather the ingredients, cooking utensils, and understand the step-by-step process of preparing the menu item.  Alex often amazed me with her zealous nature of wanting to cook or bake a complex food item without any fear of it not coming out right.  She had the advantage of me being a professionally trained chef.  She learned how to make fresh pasta, pie dough, pizza dough, butter cream icing, cakes, how to cook meats and fish, etc.  Since Alex had a strong interest in cooking and baking from scratch, she will prepare any type of cuisine.

I also began baking and cooking as a young child watching both of my parents lovingly prepare the meals for our family.  My mother prepared the daily meals since she was a stay-at-home mother for awhile and my father prepared the Sunday dinner meal.  He was happiest on Sunday morning singing along with the radio while preparing his typical roasted meat, gravy, potato, and vegetable dinner which was extraordinary.  This sparked my interest in cooking and looked forward to the home economics cooking classes I attended in grammar school.  Reading the recipe, organizing the ingredients, utensils, and mixing the ingredients in a specific process appealed to me.  I liked measuring and whisking the dry ingredients, then whisking the wet ingredients separately only to combine them to form a batter that yielded delicious muffins.  I couldn't wait to bake my first batch of muffins at home for my family!  When my mother discovered my culinary capability, she quickly assigned me baking duties helping her bake the numerous, huge walnut and poppy seed rolls for Christmas and Easter.  Our neighbors and friends were often the lucky recipients of our day long labor of love.

Now some of my favorite photos on Facebook are of my brother-in-law, Fred's, two young grandsons, Tyler and Evan, decorating holiday cookies with their mother, Holly, in their kitchen. I'm certain that these boys will continue their tradition of holiday baking with their mother and further develop their culinary skills in preparing good, wholesome meals as they grow up.


  1. I always enjoyed making spaetzle with you.

    1. Tom - Was it as much fun as helping me work on the cars? (Dad)