Are You Paying Attention? - Did I Really Want To Become A Professional Chef?? and other funny stuff.. Blog at - 227391

Did I Really Want To Become A Professional Chef?? and other funny stuff..

Are You Paying Attention? 
Mar. 14, 2011 8:28 pm 
Updated: Mar. 15, 2011 3:23 am
It seems these past few weeks have been somewhat hectic to say the least. All of us here in our “Mixed up Family” have been at each other throats as usual waiting for some sort of “Spring-Like” weather.
After Al’s Dad’s bout with Congestive Heart Failure, Al getting the flu and then slipping on the ice and messing up his elbow, and finally me deciding I needed to top it all off with a Respiratory Infection and a 2 day vacation in the hospital, I realized that I needed to take some time for myself, work from home, and catch up on all of the things that I have wanted to do. (Adding in here that my doctor who is a dear friend of ours called my Director to tell him that I was not allowed to come back to work until he said it was ok. Talk about ganging up on me!)
Needless to say after about 2 days of being home, the “Stir Crazy” started working. There is only so much of Regis & Kelly, Ellen, and The View that I could take. I forgot how much day-time TV really stinks. This is after every magazine and the two books that I have wanted to finish were read.
So what is a girl to do? Hmmm… Cook!
But see, not just cook. I had to make things that I normally would not make without having time on my hands. Out came the big mixing bowls and the paper and pen to make a list of things from the store for my wonderful Daughter to buy. I was going to make 2 kinds of Pierogies, 2 kinds of Ravioli, Won Tons, Egg Rolls, Gnocchi, and Piggies. Proudly over the few lonely days at home, just me and Judy Rose (my faithful canine), I did. And I have to say, I was totally satisfied because I paid attention.
What does paying attention have to do with anything you ask? Well, during my “Create-A-Thon” the phrase “Pay Attention” came up several times and it just came to me to sit down and write about it.
I made the Pierogies and sent a big bag over to my Dad. He called me the next day and complimented me on how good they were. He said “Petunia, these are just as good as Gram’s. The dough is so good”. I said “Well yeah, I put sour cream in just like she always did”. He said “Really? I never paid attention”.
At one point, somewhere between the Won Tons and Piggies, my sister called me to check in and ask a cooking question. She asked me if I had our Great Aunt Clara’s recipe for Polenta with Mushrooms and Sausage. (Aunt Clara came straight from on the boat at 4 years old some 100 years ago). I asked her “Don’t you remember her making it? We sure spent enough time in her kitchen” She replied “I never paid attention”.
Then finally making the Piggies, I was timing the rice just so it would be the right firmness before mixing it in with the meat and Al asked me why I was doing such a thing. I explained that you can’t cook it too much because if you did, it would turn the meat to mush after them roasting a few hours in the oven. I said to him “Momma Judy made Piggies all the time. Don’t you know how to make them”? He said “I never paid attention”.
After all of the cooking and creating, my Dear Little Girl, Mary said to me, “Mom, you are the best. How do you do it”? I told her, “I paid attention. I hope you have been too”.
So the moral of the story is, pay attention. Teach your kids, your family, and your friends to pay attention. It doesn’t cost anything and the payout is invaluable..
Mar. 15, 2011 3:23 am
How funny - that little phrase came up alot this past week while my son was home from college on spring break! I never realized how much he or my daughter had been paying attention to things as they grew up! It made me feel really good to know they had!
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Home Town
Duryea, Pennsylvania, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2010

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Cooking Interests
Asian, Mexican, Italian

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About Me
Well, what do I say about me? I live in beautiful Northeast PA with my wonderful fiance Al and our puppy Judy Rose. I am also the mother to a beautiful girl, Mary, who is 18 and is off at college (sniff). Growing up in an area rich in heritiage and ethnic traditions it has been really easy to become a seasoned cook. Being half Italian and half Polish, my fiance says he got the best of both worlds. I believe my love of cooking started when I was about 4 years old and soft boiled an egg for myself. (My Dad was so proud!)After that, you could always find me hanging out in the kitchen with my Mom, Gram or my Noni absorbing every little bit of cooking knowledge that I could. I have always wanted to become a professional chef, but life found a different path for me. I am a Veteran Service Officer (I'm thinking because I also wanted to join the Military but hence, my Father and Grandfather would have disowned me if I did), so I pretend to be a chef in the evenings and on the weekend.
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy cooking anything new and exciting (this I inherited from my Mother Rose), but my favorites are everything that I grew up with and have made me the cook that I am today...Homemade spaghetti sauce & meatballs, homemade ravioli and pastas, pierogi, piggies (stuffed cabbage), from scratch soups and stews, etc..
My favorite family cooking traditions
I miss alot of the traditions from when I was growing up, Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and homemade sweet bread and fresh baked ham on Easter. Now, I have started some of my own, always Crab stuffed Tilapia on Christmas Eve, homemade apple(from our apple trees) and sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving, plus pumpkin cake because for some reason everyone hates pumkin pie, and it wouldn't be Sunday without pasta, and it wouldn't be Friday without pizza.
My cooking triumphs
I consider anything that I cook in which I can sit down eat and enjoy with my family and friends, a cooking triumph.
My cooking tragedies
No tragedies, just a lesson on how to do it different next time! Wait.. I will add the time I almost severed the tip of my finger with a hand blender..But, we don't talk about that anymore..
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