I do remember one sad day in my young cooking career when my mother came home with the latest kitchen invention, the "RUBBER SPATULAR! " The bowls were scrapped out so cleanly I was in shock.  I think that was the moment when I decided to start cooking myself to have a little more control over the situation.  How could I not be able to do the test tastings?

   There were a couple of setbacks early on but I recovered well.  I could not have been more than 9 when I had made my first layer cake.  I frosted it with chocolate icing and was so proud until my brother Bob took one look at it and termed the icing “The Cruel Sea” a movie he had just seen. The icing may have looked cruel but Bob managed to eat more than his share of my cake! 

    I believe you either love to cook and have the “cooking gene” as we say in my family or you just don’t have any interest.   I was fortunate in responding to my mother’s love of food and I too in turn have passed this love on to my two boys, Raymond and Thomas.  My younger twin sisters Jane and Judy split the cooking genes.  Jane is a fantastic cook with everything and is an inspiration to me but Judy, who actually used to bake bread, now makes the most fantastic "Beach Glass" jewelry and beautiful soaps, but has no interest in cooking whatsoever.  As you can see, grandson Toby, who lives in England, gets his cooking genes tested every time he is with me.

    I tell the story of when my younger son Thomas spent time with my mother she would always cook with him.  His favorite treat was “The Pancake” as we called it.  It was nothing more than a giant popover but Thomas would love to look through grandma's oven window and see the sweet concoction rising high above the rim of her well-seasoned cast iron pan.  In later years I stopped in to see Thomas and HE made ME “The Pancake.”  I was very touched to experience again how foods can bring back such wonderful memories.

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Toby and Grandma Pat
on the bike path
Toby "Taste Tasting"
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Pat O'Keefe
Thomas made the "Pancake" for ME!
Say "Cheese!"