I recently revisited old columns in an attempt to start grouping them. I’ve found that the topics I’ve covered over the past decades are literally all over the place. But after having dinner with our dear friends Cathy and Greg last night, this guy brought back puddles of laughter and memoir.
This column’s title sounds like a cooking show. A must because when I comment to my friends about my new culinary creations, I say, “I got that from cooking with Kathy.” And they always look at me and ask, “What is this?” This is what it is. I actually cook with my girlfriend Kathy.
I’ve learned in my life that very proud people stay superficial. I have no problem going to a neighbor’s house, knocking on her door, and asking her to come show me how to plant a garden. Or ask a friend to help me design a room or landscape. We all have special talents, and I am open to learning from others. Kathy was that friend who taught me many things over the years, but what I enjoyed the most was watching her cook.
In 2010, our first project was bread pudding, then came an old Italian recipe of meatballs and red sauce. We spent a few hours making enough to eat and store more. We both decided we’d venture out into uncharted waters even for her by dealing with Julia Child’s famous Beef Bourgenion. And when the boys all piled into the kitchen to dig in the fridge for food the day before the dish was cooked, they found four pans of mushrooms. When they asked me about this, I announced in Julia Child’s famous high-pitched voice that I was going to do “Beef Borgenion! They all stared in shock when someone asked me, ‘Did you miss it, Mom?'” I realized they had never seen or heard of Julia Child before.
In fact, the only thing I was crazy about was beating up a recipe that was too complicated for this reading teacher to understand. Good thing I was cooking with Kathy because she was walking us through it. I had a grocery list to get her and she had her own list. On my list were six cups of chianti. Of course the alcohol will be cooked outside within three hours of cooking, but I tell that to all the people in Franklinton who have seen me hanging out in the liquor aisle for twenty minutes. I read every bottle trying to find Chianti. I even went so far as to track down the manager to double check.
I think I also did it to make it clear what I would do if people started questioning him about that lady writing for the newspaper and she was reading all the liquor bottles over and over talking on her cell phone calling the labels to someone on megaphone. That lady who walked out of the store with no more than two large bottles of burgundy. If I turn around and face the crowd to explain, “It’s a recipe!” I still don’t think it was very believable. But after that, they never went out to cook with Kathy.
Over the years we’ve amassed a wealth of recipes from my husband’s family and hers. These recipes were passed on to my sons at their wedding. Nothing beats tasting memories of the south where butter should be a vitamin!