When I was a little girl, I spent weekends with my sister's mother,my father's first wife, who I referred to as my step-mother. Yeah, we were a blended family indeed. Anyway, Rosa was a good cook. She is single-handedly the sole person responsible for my love of blue cheese dressing and pickled beets and my ultimate respect for 'government cheese'. One of the many fond memories I have of Rosa *God rest her soul*, was how she would sit and watch me eat. As a little girl, I was sometimes annoyed that she would ask me over and over, 'Is it good?' or 'Do you like it?' As a woman and still a relatively self-proclaimed novice cook, I now understand. It means a lot and it's such a good feeling if someone genuinely enjoys your food.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat. What people may not know is that I enjoy cooking. But cooking does not always come naturally to me as it does for others. Which makes me shy when it comes to sharing my food. I make certain people test it out, but for the most part, I base the success of my food on my personal tastes, which in my opinion I have an impeccable palate (but doesn't everyone think that??). So I rarely invite people over to try my food, and I hardly ever offer to cook. However, lately, I have been expanding my food tasting 'circle'. Plus, I have been trying certain new recipes and perfecting others. By perfecting I mean, I try to cook it more than once. I used to have a bad habit of just cooking something once and not trying it again, only making a mental note of what I needed to do the next time to make it right. The good news is, folks like my food. I have 'tried' my guacamole on at least 4 people, all of whom loved it. One of which comes from a traditional Mexican family. Now that may sound racist, but it meant a lot to me that she enjoyed it and asked how I made my guac, because her mom still makes homemade tamales! So the girl knows her Mexican food. A couple of weeks ago, one of my BFs came over for pot roast and sauteed brussel sprouts and he thoroughly enjoyed it. And just this week my Aunt came by for some chili (which I jammed on). I asked her for her honest opinion and she called to say that not only did she like it, but whenever I make it, she wants me to set aside some for her. Add the fried green tomatoes I made for my grandma last week and the artichoke parmesan casserole a few weeks prior and I am on a roll!
It may not sound like a big deal, but I enjoy food too much to rely on other people (even restaurants) to feed me. I made a pact with myself in October to cook a meal every week. I also promised myself that I would share my food. So far, I have stuck to this. The thing about food is it is so personal. I have had people invite me over for dinner, with the confidence of a good cook, and I was highly disappointed. Which lessened the chances of me going back for seconds. To a food lover like myself, by sharing their food, they kind of shared themselves. A real food lover does not forget a bad meal. So as I thaw out my lamb chops in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner, I am scouring my favorite recipe site for meals I want to try and master. Bon appetit!