Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little Slice of my Childhood

No I didn't make a salad to go with your dinner.
Isn't chicken nuggets with ketchup enough?
Isn't ketchup a vegetable?

I realize this is jeopardizing my hopes for the Mother of the Year award.

I like to cook...really I do. My mom was a great cook.
She was the daughter of an Hungarian immigrant who started cooking in the morning and didn't finish until dinner was served in the evening.

My mom learned all those recipes and cooked them often for me and my dad.

But she never let me in the kitchen. She was afraid I would make a mess.
An understandable and probably correct assumption.
So I do not have much first hand experience of recreating her masterpieces.

After she died all I have are her handwritten recipes that were left in a kitchen drawer.

Most of the things require a huge amount of preparation.. or at least thats how I remember it. As a kid I guess everything seems to take forever. I can be standing at the stove actively cooking and Jeffrey will ask if he can microwave a French bread pizza or have a cup of noodles because he doesn't want to wait despite my assurances that it will only be another 10 minutes.

The other issue I have with trying some of these recipes myself is that they are not designed with today's healthy eating guidelines in mind. Many call for bacon grease. Does lo-fat turkey bacon count?

I keep planning on making some of my favorites (Stuffed Bell Peppers, Tarhonja or chicken paprikash) so I can relive a little part of my childhood.

But I have a secret fear that even if I follow her recipe word for word it will not turn out like I remember.
It won't taste the same or have the same consistency or look that were unique to each dish.
And I will have to come to terms with the fact that one of my most treasured memories of childhood of my mother's cooking which was often eaten on aluminum tray tables in the back den in front of the TV are truly gone forever.

1 comment:

g squared said...

Take your kids or grandkids into the kitchen and recreate your Mom's recipes. It will be the best time spent together and the recipes will turn out. Some how it is magic when you take the time to do this.