in the kitchen
Spending time in the kitchen has always been a significant part of family life for us. Whether cooking, creating or entertaining, the party always starts and ends in the kitchen. In fact, the party usually never leaves the kitchen! It is a magical place of joy that creates a perfect crème brûlée. It is also the heartbreaker room that delivers a flopped soufflé.
Our childhood memories of the family kitchen go back to the days of shiny wallpaper that resembled oil cloth, with huge printed “harvest gold” flowers.
Our parents were great entertainers. In our neighborhood, the 70‘s were a time of the crazy card party, monopoly party or whatever excuse you could make up to drink with your neighbors party. These events were on a rotation basis where each couple would host on a Saturday night.
The youngsters would pack their sleeping bags to take along. We watched movies while our parents noshed, drinking sangria and playing “between the sheets”. What?! Our parents were actually cool?!
Before these gatherings ensued, we sisters would peer in amazement, watching our Mom assemble fantastic appetizers or desserts. The classic shrimp with cream cheese or ham roll-ups with gherkin pickles, pinwheel sandwiches, fondue, London trifle or chess pie. The list goes on and on! Let’s not forget the triple layer liquor drink trays topped off with Galiano. The colors of gold, red and green permeate our memories.
These were the days before you could run into your local grocery and purchase a pre-made item. There is a little too much of that going on in today’s world. We learned how to cook through observation and practice. Mom and Grandma were always at the helm. We got to prep a tray, “mix it up” in a bowl or assemble the table settings. Practice led to perfection and perfection led to great parties. It is a joy to see an event come together where we can take care of those we love, take their coat, offer them their favorite drink and enjoy the evening.
We owe our sense of culinary confidence and wonder to Mom and Grandma.