My first memory of cooking is a very early one.
I’m three years old, and I’m sat on the kitchen counter. My father is standing next to me, working away over a pot of something. I’m busy, cutting up slices of bread with a blunt knife. When I’m done, Dad drops the little cubes of bread into a shallow pan smoking with oil. We’re making croutons.
It’s a happy, peaceful memory. It’s also a great reminder of what fired my love of cooking from an early age.
My Dad didn’t (and still doesn’t) believe in convenience food, and would far rather whip up a meal from scratch than empty something out of a jar. He also has a fondness for some highly experimental combinations. This led to my sister branding his food “60% brilliant, 40% what the fuck?!”. While I may not have enjoyed, or even eaten, everything he cooked, he showed me that it’s okay to experiment. There are recipe books in his house, but I don’t think I ever really saw him use one.
He always encouraged my efforts in the kitchen (except perhaps my pastry, sorry Dad!). When I started secondary school, I would come home sometimes in autumn and winter to find a recipe on the counter for soup or casserole. A simple, hearty meal that was easy for me to master. After doing my homework (most of the time) I’d begin peeling, chopping, frying, browning, and by the time Daddy Scrumptious was home from work, dinner would be ready.
He also helped me try my hand at growing my own fruits and vegetables. This is little me, wearing his jumper, proudly displaying our first ever crop of potatoes.
Since my early experiences, I’ve tried making and eating a lot of new things, and look forward to trying lots more. I’ve even introduced my Dad to a few new things. He loves my homemade pizza, and tolerates my lemon chicken tajine.
Comment below with your first memories of cooking. Who inspired and encouraged you? Parents, family, or maybe a great teacher?
Miss Scrumptious xx