Today, I consider myself somewhat of a decent cook. I didn’t really grow up cooking, and in the 60’s, meals were somewhat mundane. But I did remember the recipes that my mother made that really stayed with me. The number one thing that she made was homemade spaghetti sauce. To this day it is rich, full of flavor, and takes me right back to Friday night dinners at home. And always served with it was her bleu cheese dressing. Still my favorite meal.
After getting married, I followed bland recipes and threw things together, but relied heavily on Ukrop’s Dinners for Two…a Richmond classic. Baked chicken, Milk gravy that my Grandmother made, etc. But it really wasn’t until 2002 that I feel like my cooking “style” changed. I had lost my job and felt empty. I started watching Food Network out of sheer boredom. I had my favorites…The Barefoot Contessa, Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence. I feel like that’s when I learned how to chop, season, and learned what real flavor is…and how to add this or that to get the taste I was looking for. I think I have improved on this even in the last year. I love to cook with Katie, although she gets frustrated with me because I’m too serious. She has experienced her own tastes, ingredients, and flavors and can make the best alfredo I have EVER eaten.