So by now, you’ve read Our Beginnings which is a beautiful way to see what drives and motivates us, but I’d like to tell you all a little more about my personal beginning. There’s a lot to it (more on that later), but I’ll start with the basics.
Like so many of us, I come from a divorced family. Fortunately even in my early years, I thought it couldn’t be all that bad — there were no more arguments and… did we get two of each holiday?! It also meant time at dad’s house without our “Head Chef” (mom). At the time, my older brother was knee-deep in AP classes, my sister was at gymnastics until well past dinnertime, and dad thought that if you put old (read: stale) cereal in the oven for a bit it was good as new… What do they say – necessity is the mother of invention? As you can imagine, that was when my love for cooking began.
First I was limited to what dad bought at the store.. So I would dress up canned Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Potato soups with fresh green onions, diced tomatoes, cut up sandwich meat, little olive oil, black pepper, and whatever Mrs. Dash was in the cabinet.
Some months later, I ventured into actual cooking – and keep in mind I’m 12 with no adult supervision or direction – so that meant cooking on the electric stove with some raw ingredients, while dad did dictations and office work upstairs, and my siblings were otherwise occupied. I began with vegetable oil, onions, raw chicken, dried herbs. Nothing fancy, but I loved feeding the four of us – and they seemed to actually like it.. Hmmm, but who knows – maybe anything would’ve been better than hot, stale cereal. Either way I was happy in my own little world of (kitchen) creation. Mind you I was a curious child, so a place with no rules or boundaries and the only goal of resulting with something edible, was like heaven for me. And in this very kitchen, where I still cook for dad from time to time (see beer can chicken above), was where it all began.