I started cooking when I was very young. Before I was 9, anyway. Of course this does not include the time I was about 4 or 5 and decided to “bake my mom a cake” as a surprise while the parents were still in bed. To the best of my recollection, the “cake” included the following ingredients: Oxo cubes, Nestle’s Quik, milk, water, some pancake mix, baking powder and other random things I found in the cupboard and proceeded to get all over the kitchen.
Needless to say, my mother was not thrilled with my creation. My feelings were quite hurt, actually.
However, I do have to say that my cooking improved. A lot. To the point that I was making souffles and Hollandaise sauce before I was 12.
When I was quite young, I started making candy. Fudge, penuche, etc. Had a bit of a sweet tooth as most kids do. And brownies. Lots and lots of brownies. Mmmmmmm…..
One of my major influences in my life – cooking and elsewhere – was my Grandmother, Bernice. She was an amazing cook. She and my grandfather had a bakery in Toronto before my father was born. After his birth, they didn’t own the bakery any more but my father still benefited from my Grandmother’s baking skill. This led to my father’s “dessert habit”.. that is, for the longest time, he’d have dessert with every meal. When I was young, every once in a while my mother would be rolling out dough at 9pm to ensure that my father had “breakfast pie”.
My mother is also a very good baker… if I’m not mistaken, she learned this skill to make sure my father was kept happy.
So when I was about 9 I started cooking fairly often. I can remember my aunts coming to visit and making veal parmigiana, cheese souffles and asparagus with Hollandaise. No clue what I made for dessert…. hmmm.
Long story short, I’ve always loved cooking. When I was in high school, I inquired about chef school, but was told I was “too smart” for that. Becoming a “cook” was not considered an option. The guidance counselors recommended that for those who struggled academically. Bah.
ANYWAY… so what I’ve decided to do is start this food blog. Many years ago my lovely Aunt Laura put together a binder for various members of the family with some of our family history, including my Grandmother’s recipes. I’ve made some of them, but not all. My Aunt called it “Cooking with Brona” (Bernice in Lithuanian.) So I’m going to make them and share them with anyone who’s interested. And other recipes I’ve enjoyed and acquired over the years. So not just baking, but other deliciousness as well. But I had to go with the alliteration, dontcha know.
Oh, and my father says I’ve inherited my Grandmother’s baking skill. Hopefully you think so too!