The Leaning Cow

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I miss being Mother’s sous chef

December 3rd, 2017 ·1 Comment

I am going to be more accurate – I am a sous to the nth degree chef, actually to infinity degree, and possible negative infinity. In other words, in finding my way around the kitchen, my mother, who was an exemplary cook, indicated where the doors in and out of the room were.

So, when holiday time rolled around and Mother pulled out all the stops on recipes, I was recruited to do the “things anyone who could read could do”. That is sort of like learning to swim by reading a book about it, but let’s just that go. Basically, I did the scut work and when more complicated steps were involved, she would talk me through it. It could get fairly nerve racking for the both of us.

I think I would almost prefer to defuse a bomb that deal with the tension of adding just the right amount of ingredients at just the right temperature and time. I would rather watch grass grow that stare at a supremely elegant jello-based salad that required things to be added at the proper stages of the jello setting up. No, that’s wrong; watching grass grow would be boring. Working for Mother was to feel like an med student working with the top surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

However, now I miss the fancy dishes and sometimes exotic ingredients and the extra steps she took – such as we had to rice the potatoes before we mashed them and the butter and milk added had to be heated first. The potatoes, of course, were the last thing to be prepared so they would be just right. Oh, the performance anxiety.

I again commented to Der Bingle what I have mentioned for fifty years that why go to all this trouble when people were going to EAT it. Do people eat artistic masterpieces or world-changing inventions. Hey, lets go grab a Michelangelo and make short work of it? They do not. Or how about smashing light bulbs for the fun of it? No.

Der Bingle replied I was supposed to get pleasure from watching the happy faces of people scarfing down the multi-layered crushed pretzel crust, cream cheese, jello holding suspended fruit, whipped cream and artistically placed strawberries. I can’t quite see it like that.

So, and era has ended and with no granddaughters who take after their great-grandmother, I have a very large number of cookbooks and stacks of recipes cut from magazines and newspapers. What to do with them? Set them out for grabs?
I wish I knew some young women who like to cook and would cherish the cookbooks of Sarah Shimp Grismore.

And a fraction of the jello molds.

Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 pottermom // Dec 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Funny. I dislike cooking but my three daughters love it. They come up with all sorts of new dishes and are willing to try anything new. Two of them have metric measuring cups so it is easier to use their European and Russian cookbooks. Me… I have my trusty Joy of Cooking and old Farm Journal cookbook and call it good. Although watching the Great British Bakeoff show on Netflix makes me want to make all sorts of goodies I’ve never considered. But I come to my senses and tell one of the girls to research and make it for me.

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