...not only because of the meal itself or how it turned out,but because of who you were cooking for or with.
When I was married the first time, my then-husband had cousins who loved to cook and I loved to cook with them. I learned a lot from them and had a great time. We did homemade pasta, all holidays, bridal and baby showers, and once I even helped them cater a wedding. It was a blast.
When my daughter was growing up, I loved to bake with her.
And when my (now) husband and I just started dating, for New Year's eve, we made dinner together (I can't remember what it was, but it was great fun and very romantic) and watched movies. The game was for us to each bring two of our favorite funny movies. We both brought "A FIsh Called Wanda."
I love that movie!My favorite movies are Woody Allen's "Radio Days" and "Hanna and her sisters".Still haven't found a guy who liked Woody Allen,thou!
I think Hannah and her Sisters was my other movie--it's one of my favorites, too!
Clearly he's the "one." And I'm guessing he eats shrimp.
I love reading about your cooking memories, drbabs! And I love that you and your (now) husband created a date around each of you bringing 2 of your favorite funny movies.
I so admire your bravery to re-marry. And I also love your movie date night!
The occasion was not a happy one but the fact that we were all together for a meal was memorable. When my father passed in 2007 my sisters and brothers and Mother all stayed at my brothers house. We all helped my Mother make her wonderful homemade pasta and sauce, my brother got fresh fish (he lives in Florida) and we all were together for the first time in years. We are all scattered all over the States. The meal was delicious and brought back wonderful memories of my Mothers fantastic homemade meals and the fact that we all were together, albeit a sad occasion made this meal one that I will always remember.
Bittersweet but beatifull story...Thanks so much for sharing something so private.
What a beautiful memory, sdebrango. Thanks so much for sharing it!
How kind of you to share such a bittersweet memory.
My daughter and I baked squash bread along with home-made ricotta one Saturday afternoon recently. We drank red wine and stopped for a lunch of sauteed chard with garlic and white beans. It was a rainy, nasty day but we were warm and cozy in the kitchen. A great memory in the making.
Obviously! I was right there with you from your description.
To me it was when I was about ten years old and I decided to create a dish to serve to my mom for dinner,and I came up (several ours later) with my "Crazy Rice"and boiled potatoes(she loves potatoes).Then a few months latter "Crazy Rice" gained a version:"Crazy Egg"...Just the other day,she said she missed "Crazy Egg",I haven't done it in quite a while.I think I'll surprise her this week,and bring the eggs back from the madhouse.I love my mom,madly--even if sometimes she makes me crazier than the egg or rice!Kidding appart,what I mean to say is that as long as we're together,it's all good!
Dying to see your recipes!!
I loved cooking with my gran. Great recipes, great fun. So enjoyed the month this summer our daughter was home from college and she wanted to learn to cook some new things. We started with some of our favorite treats from my NYC trip for the Martha show...this past weekend she had her first thanksgiving...not quite willing to hand off the oven mists but enjoying the opportunities to share the kitchen with her and her boyfriend who peeled all of the potatoes and parsnips! That makes him a keeper!
Oh, love it: your gran and her boyfriend who did all the peeling! A "keeper" for sure. What a beautiful family you have, lorig.
I loved cooking with my husband. He loved food, and he'd eat anything I made and say it was great even if it wasn't. He LOVED seafood - all kinds, cooked or raw, especially oysters. He could grill a perfect rare steak. He learned to bake bread as well as I could, and he always did the dishes.
Sounds like you still miss him, boulangere. So sorry for your loss.
There's a difference, I eventually learned, between grieving and missing someone. Though we certainly miss him, we also have happy lives. Thank you for you sweet remark!
Thanks for sharing some of your memories of your husband with us, b. He sounds like a wonderful partner in and out of the kitchen. I'm so happy to have you in our community here and applaud you for the new life you've created, although you still miss him. Brava, bella.
Life goes on, and it is so precious and sweet. I have two marvelous children - now young adults building wonderful lives - with whom to go on. Life comes with no guarantees. Love it, live it. OMG I love this site and all of you!
What do you do, Mensaque, that you have such time on your hands to come up with all these lovely questions and follow them up with equally lovely stories?!
I got to assist a famous chef in Tuscany last month making wild boar stew with juniper berriesA great dish.
Most of my favorite meals have been Thanksgiving meals (massive potlucks with friends when we were in our twenties and mostly single, family meals growing up, gatherings around a favorite cherry dining table now in storage), but the most recent Thanksgiving stands out for a couple of reasons. After my mother's death last spring I did not relish Thanksgiving with my dad in his assisted living dining room, despite the fancy trimmings and live harp music. We were all there last year, and my mother, in her mid-nineties and deep in her own private world, was mostly mute. My younger daughter was going to be home from her freshman year in college and suggested that instead of eating in the dining room that we do all the cooking and take Thanksgiving to my father, who does not travel well. For several days last week I carted over dishes, flowers, the best sterling, serving dishes (made by my mother when she was a vibrant production potter), wine. On Thanksgiving day, our little family trooped over to my dad's apartment in the assisted living community, bearing freshly baked turkey (Russ Parsons' Judy Bird), several sides, salad, a couple of pies (Meta Given). It was poignant but also cheery, as we lingered over the dining table of my adolescence ---- so many roles changed, yet so much the same.
I had a few of those assisted living holiday meals, as well, and remember them very fondly. My dad always dressed up and enjoyed having me (and my son or daughter if they were here) over for a lovely dinner in the dining room. I LOVE what you all put together this year, and I imagine it will join other sort of iconic memories for all you. Thank you for sharing this.
I adore cooking with people of many ages for Thanksgiving, and with my sister, niece, daughter, and mom and dad for Xmas holidays. I have had many partners in the kitchens and the front rooms of various restaurants, including our family resort. I pretty much like to work with anyone in the kitchen. My husband has a few dishes he likes to put together with me as the sous, and he is a topnotch dishwasher and stove top cleaner upper. But I also like to help people with their assigned recipes, and teach them dishes of mine that they like. I feel that to pass on some dishes for others to make, and to teach young cooks how to work in the kitchen is one of the best gifts I can give. I adore that Boulangere does this for her students.
You're so kind, Bevi. Yes, it really doesn't get much better than having opportunities to pass along food knowledge and see peoples' eyes light up. For the first time in the 4 years I've been in MT, I'll have both the son AND the daughter here for Christmas. The daughter has asked, I believe, 4 times now if we can do some baking while they're here. The son and his girlfriend (she may just be "the one") have a wonderful arrangement: she cooks and he cleans the apartment. I'm loving sharing cookbooks with her. I feel extremely blessed, and blessings on you, Bevi.
When I was a senior at Cal, I took Michael Pollan's food journalism seminar. The class was very small, and at the end of the semester, we took a field trip to Bob Cannard's farm in Sonoma, where many of the vegetables used at Chez Panisse are grown. We took a tour of the farm, then helped prepare a lunch that we all shared together on a long, wooden, outdoor table beside some olive trees. We drank biodynamic wine and were joined at the meal by the winemakers. The best part was churning ice cream for dessert in an old fashioned ice cream maker.
One of my favorite memories is making bisteeya with my parents. My dad mostly took care of the chicken while my mom and I dealt with the filo, egg layer, and the nut layer. We used to make one of these every year or so for the holidays. We'd also make baklava, according to my parents' own recipe. Hence my obsession with making gluten-free filo and warka leaves!
One favorite? How could we ever? Just this past weekend I had three. The keys I think are great ingredients, some inspired recipes, and most importantly, friends and family.
My favorite food memory ever will happen the next time I visit my parents. My 81 year old father, after having been served wonderful food by my mother for about 60 years, is learning how to cook for the first time, ever. He does all the cooking now, and according to everyone (including my sons, who've recently visited them), he's really good at it. I cannot wait to cook a meal -- any meal -- with him. It will rank up there with best memories of my entire life, food or otherwise, of watching my Giants clinch the World Series in 2010, with him. ;o)
What a wonderful question, Mensaque! I have thoroughly loved reading everyone's answers here. My birthday falls around Thanksgiving and the year I turned 50, I wanted to pull together the people closest to me in my life for a big Thanksgiving dinner and for my birthday. My now husband and I rented a house along the coast about 1 1/2 hours north of San Francisco that had a huge kitchen and was large enough to accommodate everyone for a few nights. We all decided on a southwestern style menu and split up the dishes and cooked and reminisced all day, ending with a huge feast of food and friendship that we still all talk about.
What a great food celebration, and in such a fantastically beautiful place! Happy bday, by the way.
This is a wonderful question. It has brought up so many wonderful memories of cooking with groups of loved ones. The most recent experience was volunteering for a farm dinner last August. We set up the tables in the orchard and set the tables. All the cooking was done outside over a commercial grill. We picked the salad greens, vegetables and fruits. Helped the chef with prep. Carried food over the rough ground to the guests. Poured wonderful wines. Carried the water from the pump. At the end of the evening cleared the tables and hand washed the dishes. This too was done outside. Had a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. Made many new friends. Started at noon and ended at 11:00 p.m. and drove home under a full moon. Loved the setting, the people, the food and the conversations!
Wow. I wish I'd been there. I dream of organizing such a dinner, and may actually have a farmer who would be open to it next summer. Your description is quite lovely and poetic.
Hey B, you set it up and I will come as a volunteer! Maybe this could be part of our Food52 gathering in your stomping grounds!
As guest drove up we handed them champagne and appetizers and they went on a tour with the farmers. We had little nametags and people sat at picnic tables. Had four courses. We could manage about 50 people.
Serious food for thought.
For thanksgiving..we went to my partner's sister's home.
it was no biggy..but in the 'crunch time'. the gravy needed attention and I jumped in (to show my chops).
To finish up the gravy while she was dealing with other things. everyone loved the gravy..but the credit was was stock etc. It just needed someone to thicken it, slowly and incorporate flour/butter/stock in additions and pay attention to it at the 'end game' of serving.
Of course, it's tough to call the favorite... but what comes to mind is a Christmas dinner I made for my parents and younger brother. My mom used to work SO hard at Christmas time and I was excited to do dinner for her in her home (I was in college, I think). I made a beautiful raised pork pie, don't remember the other dishes. My father had gotten my mom a gorgeous oval Swedish glass vase and I filled it with two dozen red roses. It went on the table next to the pork pie and the table was set with my mother's wedding damask, sterling, china, and crystal. It was a beautiful occasion and very happy...