I developed a love for cooking at a young age because…well…food is delicious! I grew up in the most southern part of Maryland and in my opinion, country living and cooking compliment each other quite nicely. As a child I remember my favorite place was the kitchen. My grandmother was a mother of seven and she always seemed to be cooking. This woman was a magnificent chef in my eyes, although she probably just viewed herself as a conventional housewife. I can still remember the delightful smells than filled the entire house and embraced my being, a memory delicately etched in my brain.
My Aunt was also a great chef. She was the one who instructed me in cooking the most. She always surprised me with a lesson, I don’t think intentionally but mostly because she suffered from physical ailments and needed my help. This was fine by me, I was happy to help and learn all I could. She sat at the end of the table and verbally instructed me in each step. I felt so useful (feeling useful is important to people with ADHD because we are often being indirectly told how worthless we are). I didn’t know at the time why cooking with her made me so joyful and carefree.
People often ask me to share recipes with them from my “recipe book.” Ha! No such thing exists. People with ADHD are notoriously known for being unorganized and forgetful. However, everything I know how to cook lies in the special chambers in the memory part of my brain. When I plan to cook something, I get the ingredients and everything else just produces itself magically. I couldn’t see myself constructing a book of recipes that don’t really exist. My Aunt didn’t teach with recipes, she used innovation. We may have cooked the same dish together hundreds of times but in various ways. I’d like to think this manner was conditioned for my brain because she would always say things like “What’s wrong with you besides being nuts?” This was how she showed affection and I was ceaselessly amused by it. I’m very hard to offend and I loved her jokes.
I don’t have a television so I rely mostly on the internet and books for learning new recipes and techniques. I do sometimes watch the Food Network and the Cooking Channel on my mother’s television in the off chance that no one is home to bother me because I’ll watch for hours, not realizing time has passed. I have a few favorite chefs. Giada de Laurentiis is an Italian chef who simply stole my heart. Italian is one of my favorite types of cooking and she is so pleasant and personable on screen. Alton Brown is nothing short of a genius, he teaches science and history in his cooking lessons, further drawing you into a passion for food. Paula Deen is a country girl and despite the recent news of her diabetes or whatever, I’m still fond of her unconcealed zeal for using real butter (margarine decreases immune response and lowers the quality of breast milk). Nadia G is a punk rock-esque, fashionable and unmistakably fiery personality who brings a hip disposition to the screen but a professional nonetheless. Last but certainly not least, Lorraine Pascale. Her diverse recipes, British accent, and balmy personality make you want to quickly cook whatever she’s making.
In the future I may focus on a single recipe or category in a post. Suggestions are welcome. For those of you have some time on your hands or just want to learn more, I suggest:
Cooking with Children
Book - There's a Chef in my Soup: Recipes for the Kid in Everyone by Emeril Lagasse
Book - Favorite Brand Name Silly Snacks (My son's favorite cookbook)
Cooking for Single People
Recipes, Cooking Tips and Catering
Eats and Such by Joy Doe - Catering available in the Washington DC Metro Area (EatsAndSuch@hotmail.com)
Flour on my Face - Vintage Recipes and Family Blog