I’m grateful that as I write this post on Wednesday, the sausage for the stuffing is on the stove, the cranberry sauce is cooling in the fridge, and I have the entire day and a huge clean kitchen to myself. Thanksgiving may be our most social holiday, but for me cooking it is a solo affair, an affair where I renew my love of cooking every year.
It reminds me of all of the people who have helped me learn to cook. My mother, who set me on the counter as a toddler and let me pour the ingredients into the mixer. She taught me almost everything I know about cooking, especially how to fix disasters, and to always close the drawers before you start cooking.
All of my brothers and my sisters-in-law, who taught me about fine dining, barbeque, and the importance of presentation. Our neighbor growing up, who taught me the fine art of Jewish cooking, my grandmother, who taught me bone china can make a cup of tea and a few biscuits out of a box something special.
I still remember each and every one of you, and what you taught me. Audrey, who taught me to make scrambled eggs when we were 5 and had to stand on a chair to reach the stove, Paige’s secret to give oomph to guacamole, Sue’s delectable persimmon pudding, Debbie’s mixture of spices to make baklava better than anyone else’s in the world! I even appreciate the bad boyfriend who taught me how to make my standard party chili. And to those hundreds of faceless friends who wrote and photographed for the LA Times, Daily Breeze, Sunset, Bon Appetit and Gourmet, I devoured those articles growing up. You can’t even imagine how much you all taught me.
Lastly to Bob, who is going to come home and make three pies after a long day’s work, so I don’t have to mess with the damned pie crusts!