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EllaSay's Cooking Adventures

The Cooking time of life 
Oct. 31, 2011 8:22 am 
Updated: Nov. 16, 2011 2:58 pm
I grew up in a family where cooking was important - one set of grandparents owned a cafe, the other grandmother was a fantastic cook & hostess and my mom was a wicked good baker.  I ran from cooking as hard and fast as I could. 

Then I met my husband - who is a superb cook.  He grew up with two parents who were accomplished and took it like a duck takes to water.  I considered marrying Tim a magnificent choice on my part for many reasons but having a husband who was the chief chef made me the envy of many friends.  When we joined a "gourmet cooking club" - a group of Tim's friends from a previous job - I was paralyzed with fear.  I think I managed to do peaches in champagne for the first meeting (literally, sugar, peaches & champagne for dessert)  and told Tim that I would just prefer to be the wine steward in the future because cooking made me very nervous. 

This past weekend, I made roasted chicken breasts with grape tomatoes & lemon thyme and a batch of turkey sausage-bean soup  and froze it all for a friend having surgery.  Then I baked brown sugar cookies for a meeting. And finally I made a rump roast in the slow cooker and a rice spinach gruyere side dish for Sunday dinner.

Something has happened to me and I'm not quite sure when or why - but I slowly turned into a woman who cooks - I'm not my husband nor my mother nor my grandmothers...but I know what I do well and I do it.  I realized I had crossed over a big wall when friends began to come to me for recipe ideas - I keep a large computer database of recipes (I like that more than cooking!) or ask me where they could find certain ingredients...and often I had a suggestion or answer. I'm still nervous, but less so.  I'm more wary of baking because of the necessary precision - I like salads & soups because they are forgiving - but more importantly, I am now confident enough that I can change a recipe to add something from my refrigerator or just because I think it will taste better - and I'm right more often than wrong. 

I will be 55 in December - you can call that mid-life if you like - but instead of having a crisis, I seem to have found some peace & joy in an activity that used to make me break out in hives.  And that is a gift I'm happy to take.  
Oct. 31, 2011 1:10 pm
55 is indeed mid-life to me (I just turned 50) ;-) Congratulations on discovering you can cook! When I married my husband 30 years ago I could make meatloaf, chocolate chip cookies and heat up Banquet frozen fried chicken. That was just about it. We now cook many meals together and I love to bake. It is great fun. Keep enjoying your kitchen!!
Nov. 2, 2011 5:34 am
great blog, never stop learning!
Nov. 3, 2011 6:44 am
Hi, EllaSay. Just noticed where you're from. My Hubby's oldest sister lives in St. Paul. Been there about 50 years. The winters there are pretty brutal, aren't they! Glad you are comfy with cooking. Thanks for sharing your story.
Nov. 16, 2011 2:58 pm
i for one miss being able to find Banquet Fried Chicken in the freezer case, I am talking real chicken pieces, not nuggets or pattys. I used to rely on that for "tired nights" and it was darned good. As I recall, the pieces were small but I compensated with the number of pieces I cooked for me and my little boy (who is now in his 40's but still my little boy if you know what I mean.)
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Home Town
Hartland, Minnesota, USA
Living In
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Member Since
Nov. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Vegetarian, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I'm married, with 2 dogs and one cat, living in an urban area, work full time and am an active volunteer at a nursing home, my church and various theatres in town. I also am an actor who is onstage quite frequently.
My favorite things to cook
anything for dinner that will make my husband happy; I love playing with salads & appetizers. Soup is my focus now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
my maternal grandparents owned a restaurant and my paternal grandmother was an incredible cook...I can't keep up with any of them.
My cooking triumphs
cooking dishes that actually have more than 4 ingredients.
My cooking tragedies
I try to put both the failures & memories in the trash.
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