When I was almost half way through grade 12, I was informed that despite stellar grades and an unnecessary number of academic credits, I was not going to graduate because I had misinterpreted what counted as an “applied skill.” So in the second semester, I dropped whatever I’d been planning to take (History, maybe?) and registered for Foods and Nutrition.
At the time, I was pissed off about it, because I took school very seriously, but it ended up great. It was a super easy class, I got a Food Safe certificate for taking it (necessary if you want any kind of food services job in my hometown), I learned possibly the only practical things I learned in all of high school, and on double-block Wednesdays, I’d have banana bread or whatever to share with my friends at lunch. Continue reading
Taking a little cooking break.
My mom usually hosts Thanksgiving.
She is a glorious over-cooker. Within her circle, she’s legendary for it. It totally comes from a place of love. She wants to make sure that every person who has come to her house will leave full, regardless of their tastes or dietary requirements. So Thanksgiving at her place, yes, includes turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and yams and brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. But it also probably includes vegetarian gravy and vegetarian stuffing and bread rolls and broccoli-cheese and corn and peas and salad. And there will be the wild cards of at least two recipes from the latest issue of Fine Cooking. Dessert will have the traditional pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie. But if the crowd is big, there might be something chocolate too, just in case the chocolate lovers feel somehow deprived.
One time she hosted a pretty big Thanksgiving dinner – I think there were maybe 20 people or so. She actually forgot to bring out the turkey for over half an hour. No one noticed. It’s like that. When people say to me (and they really really do), “Oh, you’re vegetarian? What do you eat?”, I just laugh.
I’m not sure what’s up with me lately, but I seem to be going through a domestic rash of wanting to see if I can make things from scratch. I have been operating on that great hubris-inspired motto – “How hard can it be?”
The answer – as it usually is to this question – is “harder than I thought.”
Now, generally, I think I’m a decent cook. I was raised by and around good cooks and I’ve never been intimidated by the process. I find it fun and interesting to try new recipes and it usually works out fine. Not so this week. Continue reading