Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Birth of a Cook

I love to cook, now I'm not a gourmet chef by any means, but I can make a good béchamel sauce (white sauce), or ratatouille (eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs — all simmered in olive oil) and  cocottes (French for "casserole" a round or oval casserole with a tight-fitting lid) are a favorite of mine.  (Think Crock Pot meal).  I love to entertain--small groups of six or eight, sitting around my dining room table, eating family style.  Good food, good conversation topped off by a nice dessert and steaming tea or coffee.
I'm sure my success is rooted in my early cooking career.  As a child I loved to make mud pies, carefully formed from Wyoming dirt and clear pond water, decorated with flowers, juniper berries, or colorful vegetables I snuck from our garden.  Now every good chef has a taste tester, and I had mine--my sister, four years younger than me. She wasn't always willing, but with a few threats she would come around and taste my creations. Mom could never figure out why she was always muddy, but she remembered I had told her that taste testing was a highly secret job.


  1. I loved making mud pies when I was a kid...and laying my little cakes out on old baking pans. I never had a test taster though!;>) xo Diana

  2. Marti, we're practically twins based on this post! :-)

    I'm a really good cook (cook, not chef), and love to create meals for friends and family, too. Also, I was an ace mud pie creator, back in the day. My taste tester was my older brother, who reminds me to this day that I fooled him into thinking that delicious looking pie was chocolate. :-)

  3. older brother has tried that on little sisters here....and his mud pies usually are decorated with boy nasty things like worms, bugs, caterpillars...ick! I just stopped my youngest from putting a big fat grub in her mouth once!

    note to self to stock more gummy worms in the pantry!

  4. You know I don't think I have ever mad a mud pie! sandie

  5. Don't they say that everyone has to eat a pound of dirt in this life? Poor little sister! I used to become so involved in childhood play with mud pies and such that I would eat my creations as well.