I threatened to start posting recipes more than a year ago, and today I am finally doing it. In the spirit of this more “light” side of my blog, I would like to start with a little joke.
A couple of years ago I used to have a roommate whose former boyfriend was of an Italian origin. Needless to say, she has eaten many a pasta meal prepared by “real” Italians. But for whatever reason, she kept insisting that my pasta always tasted better. Being understandably flattered, I none-the-less was trying to figure out exactly what is it I was doing that was trumping the real thing. After few months I finally figured it out – I always made sure the blessed macaroni were thoroughly cooked (al dente somehow never captured my fancy), and I always liberally buttered the thoroughly cooked product (unless, of course, I was making meat sauce). That simple formula was a hidden meaning of my success!
Coming from a pretty traditional background, I learned to cook at a pretty early age, and later on was privileged to observe the real chefs – no, not Wolfgang Puck or Mario Batali – my grandmothers, may they rest in peace, and my mom. Thinking back about those lessons as an adult, I think I figured out a formula for being a decent cook, and it is pretty simple. You need precisely two things (in about 60/40 ratio): an innate talent and subconscious ability to gage the good combination of ingredients and spices, and needed cooking time, and a really big heart of a true balabusta; and, presto, truly fabulous meals are on the table. It is that simple – talent plus the genuine desire to feed the people you love or just like. You need genuine artistic abilities and a long and vigorous training if you aspire to be a Cordon Bleu chef. You need a little ability and a big heart if you would like to set a good dinner table for family and friends. Cooking is art, entertainment, sometimes even relaxation (yes, I am not kidding), but most importantly, it is fun and rewarding when you are trying to feed somebody else (even if you sometimes come up with Bridget Jones’s blue soup).
Be’Teavon and Zum Gesund!