Hi, I'm Rick. Since I was a kid I loved to be in the kitchen. My mother being from a large Italian family we always had big celebrations where food was the main event. Most of it homemade because in the 1960's you couldn't just go to the superstore to find the Italian specialities. Hence my love for cooking and food was born.
Some of my earliest memories in the kitchen involve making Grape Jelly in the fall. Mothers, grandmothers, great aunts all huddled in the kitchen. One on the wood stove making the jelly, one cleaning jelly jars, another ladling into the jars another getting the wax on top...it was a production. It seems like hundreds of jars were filled...not a single one a Ball jar processed in a water bath...oh...and no one died!
I never ate broccoli until in college
Yes, that's right. Now it's on the menu once a week. Why? Because my Dad is a 'meat and potato' kinda' guy and my Mother cooked to suit. Lots of canned peas, broiled chicken and of all things salad, many times simply dressed and chunks of Parmesan cheese to grate on it. This was before commercially available Italian salad dressing. I think a few of the traditions my Mom wanted to keep in the mix. I fondly look back at those little touches as some of the roots of my experimentation with food as an adult.
The well stock kitchen
One of my principles is to have a well stocked pantry and fridge. Oh, and let me describe my kitchen. It's about ten feet long and seven feet wide. I can pretty much reach from the stove on one side to the sink on the other...and I'm only 5'6". So I've had to make some decisions on what to stock. And the list will change from person to person. They are the food stuffs that can help you put together a fun, delicious hot meal for two or more after 10 hours at the day job.
....more to come....