When I ask people how they learned to cook, they usually say their grandma taught them. It’s true that if you grew up in the seventies or later, your parents probably benefited from prepared foods and appliances that reduced time spent in the kitchen. But at Grandma’s house, something was always bubbling on the stove or roasting in the oven. I have mentioned my Southern belle grandma more than once in this blog; we have few recipes from her because they were all in her head. For fried chicken, she sprinkled flour, salt, and pepper on a plate to dredge the pieces and fried in lard “until they were done.” Vegetables were simmered in water with a little butter, salt, and sugar “until they were done.” No one can duplicate her cornbread or rolls because she measured the ingredients in a coffee cup. I remember following her in fascination as she fluttered between the sink and the range. With a splash, a dash, a stir, a poke, she knew from the aroma or the sound of a sizzle when something was ready to eat. Please excuse my nostalgia… I know a few dishes by heart, but it seems the art of sensing how to make food taste good is all but lost. Some chefs have it from hours and hours of practice, which brings me back to time. Maybe that is what is missing.


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