February 21, 2022 | Family

My obsession with cooking is his fault. No denying it. He was a carpenter until the Army sent him an invitation to join their illustrious ranks. He did and was made a cook. Go figure. Until then he had no clue about kitchen work, but he soon learned and loved his job. Fast forward to me age five. This quiet mountain of a man sat me in a chair close to the stove where he created magic with the merest of supplies. He was patient and answered every dumb question I asked while he encouraged me to toss in a handful of chives, parsley, or whatever else was available. He made cooking interesting and fun. Watching and working with my favorite uncle was a wonderful experience I cherish.

Time passed and I setup my own household. No longer did I have the ease of single dish prep. I had to concoct the entire meal and was expected to cook many entire meals. Fear struck so I beelined to the store and stocked up on cookbooks. And that led to frustration. All those delicious sounding recipes left it up to me to decide what to serve with them. Beans or peas? Fried or boiled potatoes? To salad or not. You get the idea. We’re not talking Haute cuisine, but a clue or two from those big-buck chefs, whose books I paid dearly for, would sure have helped. And that’s why I took matters into my own hands and wrote a cookbook with full menus minus desserts. I don’t bake and my family is grateful since my creations are horrible.

Back to hands, I use mine for most meal prep instead of spoons and spatulas. Therefore, I work with big pots, pans, and bowls. That means more washing by hand, but everything stays in the container, and I have room to work comfortably with the ingredients instead of them flying all over the counter.

We’re cooking here not baking, so no need to be precise. Change measurements to suit your taste. You love garlic – toss in more. Pepper isn’t your thing – leave it out. Make these recipes your own. Side dishes and beverages are suggestions not a rule of thumb. Those recipes are found in the Veggies section or Salads, Sauces, Sides, & Extras section at the back of my cookbooks.

So, grab your partners and don your aprons. Crack open a bottle of your favorite wine! Let’s take a giant step forward to ease the burden of overworked women and bring romance back into our lives with meals to make together for a romantic evening.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!


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