Now, it's no secret that I don't cook much. I love LOVE to bake, but I just don't cook - partly from semi-rational kitchen fire fears and partly because I don't understand the basics. My mom and sister are what you'd call "garbage cooks". They can whip up a 5-course gourmet meal from whatever they have on hand. It is completely amazing to witness and even better to sample. Me? I need a recipe.
But what happens when I have a recipe is nothing short of magic. I'm fearless. I get it. I just need scientific precision in the kitchen or I'm not tempted to try (though you'll be proud to know I didn't measure my spices for Beef Burgandy...that was all pinches and dashes. Very proud.)
The one part that I played in the orchestration of my bridal shower was to ask each lady invited to share their favorite recipe with me, to become part of my first, my own family recipe album. Not only did so many dear ladies contribute, but many recipes came from overseas. The ones that really got me, though, were the photocopies of recipes from my grandmother's and my great aunt's kitchens, written in their hand. They were the ones that made me cry. Who knew a recipe for fish fry breading could be charged with so much emotion?
Now, thanks to the completely amazing women in my life, I am armed with my more than 2-dozen recipes and am determined to learn to cook for the soul, too. With a gift like that, who needs presents?