06 September 2011
When I was little, I really loved hanging out with my mom and grandmother in the kitchen, watching and helping them when gossiped, prepped and cooked. My grandmother was a queen with dough, hand making dumplings, noodles and fried scallion pancakes to my big little belly's delight. My mom never really enjoyed cooking, but she knew what was supposed to go with what, when something was ready, how things should taste. She made fantastic Chinese braised pork and zha jiang mian. Though they both occasionally looked at a recipe from the newspaper, they never relied on them and could cook everything from memory - tasting a bit here, tweaking a bit there.
This was a talent I never truly learned myself. For as long as I could read a recipe or eat for myself, I always loved trying new foods, new recipes. Growing up in the States and eating Chinese food for every home meal made me feel like branching out and learning to cook things that were not Chinese - so through high school, my parents often played my guinea pigs as I've explored my culinary curiosity, subjecting them to loads of cookbook-derived good stuff, but also unrisen hard-as-a-rock rosemary bread, chicken with canned peaches, the $100 wok-fried paella.
BF now is a home-grown southern boy, and likes literally nothing better than meat and potatoes. Beef fried rice is considered exotic to him. He won't eat fish unless it is deep fried. His idea of a salad is lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and Thousand Island dressing, that's it. He grew up with vegetables either coming from a can or cooked within an inch of their lives. This is all to say that my current cooking repertoire has been limited to seeing what things I can try that he will also be willing to eat.
What's been good about dealing with BF is that once I have found something we both like, I make sure to keep the recipe and save it for future re-use. I'm less afraid to play with it, as long as I don't go introducing crazy new flavors. Thanks to this, I do finally have some recipes that I know how to make by taste, from memory. Though they aren't my grandmother's dumplings, they are mine and work for me now - like the Texas spaghetti, green chile chicken enchiladas, roasted shrimp cocktail. Now I just need to give my grandmother a call and figure out how she makes her scallion pancakes!
Do you have any go-to recipes that you can always rely on? Wanna share a link to them in the comments below? Are you a stringent follower of recipes or like to cook on the fly?
Dress: Floreat by Anthro chromatic canvas (worn here - sim-ish here, B&W here)
Sweater: Banana Republic ballet-neck (sim here, cashmere here)
Belt: J. Crew piped glitter (sim luxe here, here)
Necklace: Anthro nueva granada (sim here)
Shoes: Seychelles via Anthro raines aka ring in the new year (worn here - sim here, luxe here)