Everyone wants me to blog about food. There are so many blogs about food!
So what do I do differently…what do I do that most don’t do??? I had to think about that for a while, it is not that I think I cook better than everyone, I think what I do differently from many is that I am always cooking for so many! More on that later. I also know I come from a very traditional background, where French Canadian food was the mainstay as in Pâté Chinois, Chop Suey, macaroni, split pea soup, lasagna, ham with pineapple, with every vegetable very overcooked, every salad contained Boston lettuce, tomatoes, celery, salad seasoning, mayo and vinegar.
Now there are many things I still make from my childhood days, quick pickled cucumbers for one, as a quick add-on to sandwiches and summer meals, I have changed my Pâté Chinois to reflect what I love, and also make what I call Pâté Francais, (with fresh mushrooms sautéed and made delicious), Pâté Mexicain (salsa and cheddar cheese), I learned to make my own ricotta for lasagna, I still love making berry pies, though mine do not come from a can. And I rarely use anything canned, except tomatoes, pulses….and even then. I do have a few simplified meals that have canned soups, and they are dear to my children’s heart, but it is not often I make them.
And then I have crazy recipes……which I will see if and when they come to life here.
I used to hate fish, seafood made me gag, raw anything would send me running, then life happenstances happened and I reviewed life in my own way, and I realized that “Life is Short”, and I had to try everything at least once, twice or maybe three times, so I started eating oysters from watching À la di Stasio and she was showing how to open and serve oysters with Bloody Caesar in shot glasses. Now….the vodka and shots were nice, but I discovered oysters, I fell in love with the sweet/briny taste, and I chewed them! I had been told to never do so by non-connoisseurs. (lol)
And so…from that moment on…I was on a mission to start testing, to capture moments, to look at my food as I did art, as I would a painting…and it has been a love affair since then.
I discovered making pasta, making gravy (Italian style) quick sauces, braising, using spices I never knew existed, discovering veggies that make my heart sing and introducing pulses to my family…I have fallen in love with cassoulets, gnocchi, ravioli, squash everything for winter, among other things, grilled veggie salads for summer, I learned to roast my fresh sausages in the oven and season them beforehand! All that out of trial and error.
So now you wonder, what is different about my blog?
I cook for over 12 people at least 3 times a week, a normal supper meal is between 8 and 10.
So my specialty is good home cooked, mostly made from scratch meals for MANY. Though I do this this often, and to me it is a common thing, to others with not such a busy household, it can be daunting. I think I can really help simplify having people over on a whim and perhaps not a prayer, but a few good ingredients.
I really do believe in having everyone over, all the time, we always set an extra place at the table every night and maybe two places, because they will get filled 95% of the time.
I do live close to my extended family and am so blessed with how often my nieces and nephew just pop in, hug me, often help me in the garden and then cooking. How many helped me with gnocchi? How many rolled pasta with me? How many made awesome old-fashioned doughnuts with me? It goes on and on...they are, as are my own kids, a part of my life I celebrate daily.
And so, I want to vow that I will start documenting my larger meals, taking enough pictures and then as I don’t follow recipes, start taking notes and bring everything here.