Saturday, March 2, 2013

Nana's Culinary School

Me in Nana's kitchen, baking cookies

My Nana's kitchen is a place were hundreds, if not, thousands of culinary delights were and are lovingly prepared and dished out to friends and family alike.  Her kitchen is not only where I tasted food beyond compare, but also where I learned to prepare meals on my own.  I learned how to properly stir, mix, and measure by both watching Nana, and by doing it myself by her side.  Her watchful eye, and gentle encouragement boosted my confidence, and I knew I could duplicate her recipes on my own.  I learned that before you push a pan of lasagna into the oven, you must make the sign of the cross, and whisper a prayer to the heavens that it turns out.  I learned to clean as you go while preparing a meal, so that your kitchen stays tidy.  I learned, at the side of my Nana, how to make the perfect crepe, prepare quiche, and mix several sauces, dressings, and other mouth-watering delights.  Nana's kitchen is where I made my first batch of cookies.  My confidence soared as Nana let me push the dough on the tray all by myself.  It didn't matter that my dough wasn't lined up perfectly, only that I was doing it on my own and having fun!  The food in Nana's kitchen is what filled my stomach, but the memories shared with her their have filled my soul.  So, I was filled with great nostalgic pleasure when, on our last visit to Wisconsin, I watched Nana give Tralee a lesson in baking cookies.  This was not Tralee's first cookie-baking lesson, but it was her first by Nana's side, and that's what made it special.

Tralee and Nana preparing cookies
Reading the recipe -- it looks like they're sharing a secret. 

Nana told Tralee to go ahead and taste the dough
Tralee approved of the dough

Hunter and Tralee watching the cookies bake
I'm pleased to announce that Tralee and Nana's cookies turned out delish.  So delicious they didn't last too long.

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