It’s a dark cold morning and it was one of those off and on sleepless nights, which only happens when you need rest the most. I helped feed over 300 people yesterday. I’ve lost count for the week. When I did sleep I dreamt of food; cutting, dicing, and pulling apart one turkey after another, also, mashing. I knew I was dreaming because my mom was there and she is looking forward to eating what I was about to serve. My mom was one of my biggest fans. Some times when we would share a nice lazy Sunday with each other she would pull out the shoe box that contained all the little articles and reviews I had received throughout my years of chefing of Seattle. We would look at them, it was weird but I went along, glad that I made her proud.
My mom did cook while I was growing up but only the very basics; hamburger helper, ice berg wedge with Thousand Island and she had this cake fetish; crab cakes, salmon cakes, cod cakes, trout cakes. (my dad fished) I don’t know that I had ever eaten a filet of salmon before I was 15, but had eaten many many pounds of the stuff in different forms.
I was the ”gourmand” of the family, always chefing things up even as young as 8. My shows were Julia Childs, Jeff Smith “the frugal gourmet” (who I later went to work for but only for a very short time) and “the Galloping gourmet”. This was Public television 3 pm, back in the late 70’s. By dinner I was so hungry I looked crazed I’m sure.
My middle sister was a really good cook. Very home style cooking but seriously melt in your mouth pot roast and sloppy joes to remember. I was a huge fan of my sisters cooking and un-like me she received the baking gene and could make and decorate cakes like it was nobody’s business.
When I opened my restaurant in Seattle my mom loved to come and have dinner, she would bring my Aunt. Two of the cutest old ladies in the world. My aunt was a meat and potatoes kind a girl, so I would have to run next door to the butcher and get her a nice steak which I would then cook the loven crap out of. My mom liked the spaghetti marinara, the most purest simplest item we had on our menu. She tried the Botarga (dried tuna roe) and the pasta con sarde (pasta with sardines) but always floated back to her fav, the spaghetti.
Those times seem so long ago, so much has changed. my Mom, Sister and Aunt have all passed and me, no longer behind the line slinging out pasta on a busy Friday night but instead left with my beautiful memories of them while I wait for a Ewe to lamb and gather the items for the CSA. I’m still cooking, I guess that will never change.
By 6pm tonight I’ll have fed maybe 150 people. Last day of catering then rest and then Seattle to be with the fam.