Food is the thing that connects us all as humans; we can’t live without it, we come together over it, we’re incapable of getting it without any outside assistance. Growing up, I remember holidays by the foods we ate: seven fish dinner for Christmas Eve, ham onEaster, turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, steamed crabs for summer barbecues with homemade potato chips. Food is what makes me feel most at home. When I’m at school and I start missing my family I find myself craving eggplant parm and lasagna, or grilled cheese the way my father used to make it (So. Much. Butter.)
This semester is the first time I’ve lived away from home in a place with a kitchen. I’veclived in dorms before, and I’ve gotten good at cooking entire meals (read: eggs, pasta, and ramen) with a microwave, but staring down an entire kitchen can be overwhelming.
My issue with cooking has always been that I don’t know where to start. I’m an ingredient shopper, but I’m never sure how those ingredients are supposed to work together. I figured my best bet is to gather recipes which I’ve started using as grocery lists. I also decided that I didn’t want to just collect recipes at random, I wanted to get recommendations from friends and family. I want the recipes they grew up on.
The trouble with combining a collection or recipes– mostly handwritten, mostly passed down through the generations– is that a lot of it is just intuitive. Every family has a preferred tomato brand, or type of bread, or spice blend. A lot of them were missing measurements, or crucial steps that no one thinks about when they’re writing it down. I found ways I like to make the recipes, and I encourage you to find them, too. Besides, tasting is half the fun.