“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”

The morning is dark and humid with thunder and lightning storms possible tonight and tomorrow. Everything is still and quiet. Today is a favorite sort of morning. From the deck, I can even smell the ocean.

I clip recipes from newspapers, magazines and even grocery flyers. I keep them in a folder bursting at the seams. Periodically, while watching TV, I go through the folder looking for something new to try. I make piles of the possibles: appetizers, meats, sides and desserts. This summer I’ve tried different appetizers and just about every one of them was a keeper. It’s fun for me to read the ingredients and imagine how the food will taste and how well dishes will go together. I’m going to be working on movie night’s dinner today.

While growing up I was never interested in anything having to do with cooking or sewing or any sort of handwork like knitting or crocheting, and my ineptitude was of little concern or consequence. My mother did it for me; however, that changed when I got to college. I had to be inventive. I learned solutions for all sorts of problems. Lose a button? Use a stapler. A hem falling? Use tape. Need to make dinner? Open a can, and I was not alone in a total lack of housewifery skills. My friends shared the same ineptitudes as I did and none of us really cared.

The first time I ever did any real baking was at Christmas time in Ghana. I made cookies. They were delicious so I expected a parade celebrating my new skill, but, alas, there wasn’t one. I had to be content with eating and sharing the cookies. The next year I even made pies for Thanksgiving, paw paw pies. I made my own crust for the very first time and rolled it out using a beer bottle, a Star beer bottle, a make-do innovation. The pies were delicious. I was hooked on baking. It seemed I had a hidden talent now brought to light by circumstances like no super-market.

It’s been a long time since then, and I have honed my cooking and baking skills. I can make almost anything and make it well. I love trying new recipes and have enough confidence to make them for company. As for the other housewifery skills, I still need a stapler and tape for those unexpected sewing problems. They’re in my sewing basket, my very large sewing basket.

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8 Comments on ““I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Iron on hem tape is one of the best inventions ever. If I can’t have that, I use the stapler for hems since cello tape doesn’t hold forever. I can sew but I choose to spend my time in other pursuits. 🙂
    I used to collect recipes out of newspapers. In fact, recently I found a bunch from the Globe that are many decades old. You might remember that the Globe had a chat column where people would write in about all kinds of things and also exchange recipes. Auntie Mim was a regular contributor and I have several of her recipes tucked away in a blank book. My plan was to copy them all out in longhand someday. Right. Or not write. 🙂
    Cookbooks are one of my favorite reads. I have a largish collection. I rarely cook anything out of them but use them as suggestions. Now most of my cookbooks are ebook versions. So much easier to store. But Julia Child’s coffee-table sized book The Way to Cook is in easy reach in my kitchen. It’s not a convenient size to use when actually cooking but it explains everything so it’s my go to book.
    The sun is out. It’s hot. I see ice cream in my immediate future. 😀
    Enjoy the day!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I can sew a button back on but often don’t. I have tons of buttons but can seldom find a match for the lost one. I save all the extra buttons which come with new clothes then get tired of them taking up space in the drawer and dump them; of course, a day or two later I need one of them. I guess that’s Murphy’s Law of sewing.

      I remember that section of the Globe. I always thought it was fun to read and I’d find some great recipes there. Plans are always so wonderful.

      I too love to read cookbooks. I actually have a collection of books inspired by novels and writers. I have several including Sherlock Holmes, Barbara Pym, The Railway Children, Shakespeare, Lillian Hellman and many more. They’re fun.

      The other night i bought lemon gelato, a new brand in the gourmet store. It was out of this world. I’m thinking that sounds just right for today!

  2. olof1 Says:

    I’ve never used a stapler for mending clothes 🙂 But used a safety pin when loosing a button. Could be painful though 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I guess You mean papaya when writing paw paw and not the north american fruit called pawpaw? .-) But does it taste anything 🙂 The papayas we can but here taste almost nothing so making a pie with them as ingredients would be useless 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I had to learn how to cook and bake quite early since my mother used to work quite late and never has been much of a chef to be honest 🙂 🙂 But I rarely follow recipes, I work from the hip as we say here when just tossing in things and hope for the best 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      Paw paw is what Ghanaians call papaya. The Peace Corps cook book I had called them the amazing paw paw. When cooked in a pie, after adding sugar and cinnamon, they taste like apple. I can attest to that as I made a couple for Thanksgiving, and you would have swore you were eating apple. Rub it on meat to tenderize the meat. Eat it as a fruit or cook it like squash.

      I worked from recipes then started to tweak them once I got comfortable in the kitchen. If I am cooking a foreign meal I’ve never cooked before, I stay with the recipe as I don’t know enough to make changes.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Hedley Says:

    Now when you pick a pawpaw
    Or a prickly pear
    And you prick a raw paw
    Next time beware
    Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw
    When you pick a pear
    Try to use the claw
    But you don’t need to use the claw
    When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
    Have I given you a clue ?

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I think that’s the only song I know by heart from that movie. I think it is the dance which is so fun that got me singing.

  4. Bob Says:

    Yea! Today the high temperature was only 99 degrees but still no rain.

    I used to cook a little when I was single and got tired of eating out. After I married my wife took over the kitchen and my few cooking skills have gone dormant. However, I love watching cooking shows on TV and I am intrigued how chiefs combine ingredients to produce wonderful dishes. Most of the dishes on TV are much too complex for my simple cooking skills.

    • katry Says:

      We had rain. It poured so hard we could all hear it pounding the roof of the theater.

      I also love watching cooking shows. Sometimes I go on line to get the recipe for something which looked great and seemed not too difficult. I used to make really complicated dishes but haven’t in a long while. Now I tend toward the quick and easy.

      I watched The Next Food Star and Around the World in Eighty Plates. The chefs on each program were given ingredients and has to whip up wonderful dishes or be eliminated. I could never just cook from my head-I need recipes.

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