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In the Kitchen

I come from a long line of women who were great cooks.  None of these women I would consider “gourmet,” but all had a love of the kitchen.  We grew up with a mother who served a meal every night around the family dinner table.  Albeit, some nights that was tuna casserole with crispy baked Ruffle potato chips on top! But most of the time it was wonderful home cooking and comfort food.  As far back as I can remember my mom baked all of our bread, all of the desserts, and the granola we ate for breakfast.  Even back in the late 60’s and 70’s there was very little processed food in our house and the only pop we drank was an occasional ginger ale if we had an upset stomach.

In the late summer  my granny would come for several months and the kitchen turned into a production line of canning … beets, green beans, applesauce, tomatoes, jellies, jams, pears, peaches, watermelon, grapes …  I didn’t fully appreciate it then, but I sure do now.  I think after my hands were prune like from helping to peel, slice and squish, I didn’t want much to do with eating the canned goods.  My granny also taught me how to make a pie with lattice top, roll out sugar cookies and fix a martini! I also have to say, outside of the kitchen, my Granny taught me how to knit and sew, needlepoint and become a perfectionist.  More on my Granny later!  She deserves more than a few blog posts.

My mom’s mother, my Grandma, came over on the boat from Poland.  She didn’t appreciate vegetables and cooked her meat until it looked like shoe leather.  But she was great at the sweet stuff and other Polish food such as pierogis, galumpkis and kielbasa.  Although my sewing know-how came from my Granny, I think my affinity to it came from my Grandma.  She also was a master seamstress and her father was a tailor.

My sister, Anne, got on the cooking bandwagon long before I did.  She and her first husband were amazing entertainers and Anne is a gourmet cook.  I think my willingness to experiment in the kitchen and my love of entertaining comes from watching my sister do it so flawlessly.

Now I am lucky to have a willing husband who thoroughly enjoys everything I make.  Of course there were two things, well, three actually, that were not successes.  But he is a great taster, critic, sous-chef and front of the house guy.

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