I saw a recent post on Dinner: A Love Story in which Jenny and Andy, the writers of that blog, thanked the folks who have taught them important lessons in the kitchen.
Naturally, it got me thinking about my own kitchen teachers, and I thought I’d write a few thank-you notes of my own.
- Thank you, Ryan and Amy, for teaching me about the joys of rhubarb in the summertime – and for sending me home with armloads of rhubarb from your backyard.
- Thank you, Cockney fruit sellers at the Oxford farmers’ market, for hawking your (delicious) wares in rhyme and making me smile when you call me “luv.”
- Thank you, Jacque and Jamie, for teaching me to whip up a meal out of whatever’s in the cupboards, often topped with a fried egg.
- Thank you, Elizabeth, for teaching me about the versatile deliciousness of stir-fry.
- Thank you, Marcela, for teaching me how to tell if a mango is ripe, and how to eat them savory (with salt and lime juice) and sweet (in desserts, or simply cut into juicy chunks).
- Thank you, Janine and Jacque, for teaching me how to brew real English tea.
- Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to add a little vanilla to pancake batter.
- Thank you, Julie, for teaching me to use real butter.
- Thank you, Amanda Hesser, for teaching me that the key to great scrambled eggs is low heat, real butter and patience.
- Thank you, Pop, for teaching me to make chocolate chip cookies (and the importance of quality control).
- Thank you, Neno, for teaching me how to snap green beans, how to cook fresh peas from the garden, and for applying calamine lotion to the chigger bites I got picking raspberries on your farm.
- Thank you, Molly Wizenberg and Ron Morgan, for two very different but equally perfect scone recipes.
- Thank you, Mimi, for teaching me to laugh about kitchen mistakes.
- Thank you to the dungeon guys for eating everything I ever baked for you, with relish – even the less-than-perfect cookies and fruit crumbles.
- Thank you, Lizzie, for introducing me to the restorative powers of apple crumble with fresh custard (either homemade or from Tesco).
- Thank you, Bethany, for sharing your love of creative sauces and dressings, and your mom’s homemade peppermint fudge.
- Thank you, Happy, for teaching me to love goat cheese.
- Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to boil water, make guacamole, plan meals, grocery shop, and bake and cook a hundred dishes. And thank you for teaching me that dinner is at the center of family life.
Who are your kitchen teachers? And what important lessons (or great tips!) would you thank them for?