A good cookbook can teach you how to make a perfectly cooked risotto, a mean meatball with spicy marinara sauce and beautifully formed homemade pasta. An even better cookbook however, can teach you about life outside the four walls of the kitchen.Luckily for me, my mom created an original cookbook for my sister and me that did just that. Last Christmas, she gave us one that was doused with family pictures, lined with jokes and stories, and illustrated recipes associated with memorable family events.
Growing up, meals were not just a time to refuel – they were special. I can probably attribute this to a few things - my Italian heritage, my southern upbringing and my mom’s culinary talents. Needless to say, food sort of became our family’s religion. Sunday night dinners started at 6pm sharp. Basting a turkey for Thanksgiving was a rite-of-passage at age 12. And freshly baked bread became the cure for any ailment.
When I moved away from home to Boston, this cookbook became my most prized possession. It was the literal representation of the last twenty-three years of my life – and represented what was most special to me – my family. The more I opened the book, the more I realized that it not only told the story of my life, but it was full of all the lessons learnt while cooking in my mom’s kitchen throughout the years.
In my Golden Carrot talk, I share the three biggest lessons I learned from my mom’s kitchen and the instrumental roles they’ve played in my life. These are: A recipe is only a guide, ingredients really do matter and, most importantly, there is always room at the table.
Below is just a taste of my talk.
Click here to view InkHouse's full Golden Carrot video series.