I come from a long line of good cooks. I'd swear there is an undiscovered, unnamed, chromosome unique to our family line that is gifted to each one of us. I suspect that it's a dormant trait that shows itself, but when paired, watch out because then it’s VAVAVOOM! There are some of us in the family that sparkle, should have their own cooking show and gourmet style kitchen, while the others are just plain good, and would bloom in a doublewide or over a hotplate. None of us would even know how to burn an egg. We cannot, it’s not in our blood.
Food is a big part of my life, as my hips would attest, and why decades later, I am a slave to cardio, but it's not the eating, it's the cinematic memory strips of meals that resonate like flashing lights in my mind. Family members gathering, each participating in the meal, chopping, dicing, shopping, tasting, singing, and finally each of us around the table or sitting in the den, eating. We are foodies, but we differ from the popular definition. Foodie, the trendy term used to describe a zealous individual that is passionate about everything having to do with food. There are food channels, websites, books, entire lines of pots, knives, and holiday cooking shows, live meal preparation, and my favorite, cooking a gourmet meal for $30.00 or around some obscure ingredient, such as SPAM or canned yams. Foodies is everything food. We are too only we don't work at it.
I think of my motley family, inner and extended, as foodies, but I wager all of us with the dormant gene would swear we had no idea how to make a béchamel sauce or deglaze a pan. Yet each us knew what a roux was before we ever heard the word. Even me, I get into the kitchen with the obscure ingredient and my dinner guests will have seconds and lick the plate clean. It's not as if I try. I describe my innate cooking skill as being similar to the one that allows a person to play a song on the piano after hearing it only once. As they are musically inclined, I am foodie-inclined.
I've taken this gift for granted over the years because cooking comes so easily to me. I don't plan when I shop, I buy what's on sale along with the other basics I might need when it comes to meal prep time. It's not until I start grabbing ingredients out of the fridge and cupboard do I start to think about when I am inventing. I am unsure of the end product and only focused on the journey. I don't measure or follow a book. However, I will look at page something in a cookbook, as I would when I am teaching myself how to de-arm a nuclear weapon. MacGyver and I have this in common, he has tape and chewing gum, and I have Roux.
What's your secret ingredient?
More from food