I've gotten some questions. I'll give you a chance to ask your own too via Instagram. Check out my stories.
When did you first take an interest in cooking? I've loved to cook from very young. I'd watch my mom and grandmas as a small child and ask to help. They'd let me.
Why do you enjoy cooking? To me, it's relaxing. It's also creative. It pleases everyone. Not everyone loves art, or reading, or painting or is into sports or dogs. But everyone eats.
Do you ever feel stressed out when cooking? Ha, ha. If we go by recent events, like The Great Muffin Debacle or my rice ball disaster, the answer is sometimes. Mostly, though, I laugh at these things and did those days too. The biggest stressor for me was when I didn't have enough time. I was working full time, going to school and raising two kids alone.
What is your favorite thing to cook? I love making one pot meals; casseroles, stews, chili, soups, etc.
Do you stress out cooking for the holidays? No. In fact, I enjoy it more. Call me crazy, but I love cooking for big crowds. Even when I was working and going to school, I found time at the holidays to cook and bake. I may have gone with even less sleep, but I did it.
Wasn't it boring cooking with "old people" all the time? No. In fact it was quite interesting. We talked, we laughed, I learned and we became very close. Reading about WWII or having a teacher tell you their version is much different than hearing it from a grandmother who lived it. I learned about ancestors, family history and really knew who my grandmothers were. Often, after cooking or while waiting for something to bake or simmer or dough to rise, we'd look through old photo albums. I heard stories about my family coming to America, what it was like to be an immigrant in New York City, living through the war years and I knew how my grandparents met and much more. I've incorporated much of that into my writing. When I read one short story in a class, someone commented, "You must have done a lot of research on that." My response, "Yes, I did! Years worth, beside my grandmother as we made ravioli."
Is food all you think about? Of course not. But many of my fondest memories incorporate food. After all, Food is the heart of all we do. I have amazing memories of helping my mom to prepare for a holiday or cooking dishes to send to a new mother. We consoled one another as we prepared food to bring to the family of someone who died. There was music and dancing and laughter and stories and singing in the kitchen as we cooked, baked, cleaned up during happy times and sad. It cheered us during the sad. More dancing went on in my mom's kitchen than in any dance hall in the country.
My dad dancing as he's unloading the dishwasher. He had been dancing and stopped, so I picked up the camera and egged him on and he did a little dance for me! He also sings, and has an amazing voice. I mean, he could have been pro. He just turned 80 and is still dancing through life!
How do you do all that cooking with your disability? Well, that's why I haven't set a schedule to post to my blog as is recommended. I do what I can, when I can. It takes me a whole lot longer to do things and there are times I have to sit and rest as standing is difficult for periods of time. Of course, when I edit my videos, things look as if they flow. I don't want to confine myself to a schedule when I have days where I can't get out of bed. I don't need that pressure. I had enough pressure in my life. This is for fun.
Does anyone help you? Generally, no. If I can't manage to clean up, I leave the mess and attack it later on. I often go into my mom's side of the house and "help" her, or become her sous chef! Mom, dad and I work together and these days, we choose fairly easy meals or we work in stages. Years ago, mom and I would cook all day and many different dishes. Now, we often cook one at a time and for holidays, in advance. We will make a lasagna and freeze it. Roasted peppers and also freeze them. We made the chicken balls for the Thanksgiving soup several days before and froze them. Are you starting to see a trend. You make changes and adapt. You "learn new tricks" due to necessity.
If there's anything else you would like to ask, about me or cooking or baking, follow me on Instagram. I'll be posting a new story shortly and you can feel free to ask.