My mother and her mother,my maternal grandmother, are a huge part of why I love cooking. My mother, who is still alive, is renowned for her cooking ability, although she doesn’t enjoy it as much as she used to, probably because she did so much of it all her life. I guess I may be like her one day – prefer to have others cook for me!
I can remember my parents having dinner parties and mom would be in the kitchen putting together one creation after another. Her meals were always phenomenal. She always hosted Christmas dinner and she was even amazing when preparing our family suppers – sometimes a Sunday night tradition but often at various times due to dad’s shift work.
My grandmother was a huge believer in cooking from scratch. There were never packaged foods in her house. The pantry contained items necessary for making good food, like flour and sugar, and not packages of food. I can remember Grandpa grinding steaks to make ground beef, or grandma hanging her homemade pasta on tea towels on a wooden clothesdrying rack that I still have. And then there was her garden, almost an acre of anything you can imagine. Fall’s bounty was canned and stored in the cold room downstairs, beside the life size freezer, also always full. With herPolish heritage, she made some great traditional foods.
Both mom and grandma were experts at dough products. Every culture seems to have a dough product, and mom and grandma were experts at my favourite, perogies. My mom is also amazing at baking bread and buns, something I have not mastered. I do have some “dough specialties” I can whip up, including perogies. On Friday night I finally mastered spaetzle, a German tradition thatmy German husband happens to love. Apparently this was my best batch yet. Spaeztle is made with flour, eggs and baking powder, and the key is the consistency. Once I got that down, I ran it through the spaetzle maker into boiling water mixed with vegetable broth. Combined with fried bread crumbs and schnitzel, it was a fine meal….stay tuned for the story of the amazing cookbook that contains the spaetzle recipe!