Let me introduce myself. I’m Rebecca LaPier, and I’m doing some work with the folks at Culinary Underground. One of my tasks is to write the occasional blog posting, and one of my pleasures is to attend the occasional cooking class. Recently, it was Dessert Buffet. Yum!
Now for the blog post. I grew up on a farm in Upstate New York, where my mother fed us three very hearty meals a day. Each meal involved meat – my dad has his own personal butcher – milk, vegetables from our garden, fruit, and some kind of homemade biscuit or bread. Truth? My mom’s cooking was delectable. I was her little helper in the kitchen. She taught me all the basics, which she had learned from her mother. Pie making was especially fun for us and we continue to enjoy this tradition.
I never knew how much work planning and preparing three meals a day took until I was out of my parents’ house. In college, food was cooked for you and easily accessible, and I could still go home on holidays for my mother’s feasts. Then I moved in with my college sweetheart, Oliver. We lived in Framingham, five and a half hours from my parents. Visits grew less frequent and my longing for home cooked meals grew stronger. I realized how lucky I was to have a mother and father who truly valued homegrown products prepared by their own hands.
At first, Oliver and I subsisted on fast food and processed, microwave meals. What complete blasphemy given how I was raised! Working full-time made me lazier and more apt to swing by the combination KFC/Taco Bell for a Famous Bowl and some value tacos. It is unbelievably easy to fall into this pattern.
As we settled into the area, however, and grew more accustomed to living in our apartment, we decided we needed to familiarize ourselves with the kitchen. It isn’t the biggest, most functional kitchen, but it has the essentials. We actually could make those home cooked meals I missed so much.
And what fun we’ve been having! We get out the wine, throw on some music, and talk about the workday while preparing a real meal. Now, every time I go to my parents’ house, my dad loads me up with various meats – including my favorite, venison – and homegrown vegetables like sweet corn, potatoes, and tomatoes.
It seems like a small thing, but I’m proud that Oliver and I have gotten back to home cooked meals. It’s something so precious, so economical and practical that seems to have been lost. Thankfully, places like Culinary Underground are bringing back home cooking. After taking Lori’s dessert seminar, I realized what a great team Oliver and I make in the kitchen.