My story begins the afternoon my dad broke into my mom’s apartment using a credit card.
They were dating at the time, although I think the relationship was rather new. Arriving home, my mom could smell a warm, tantalising aroma in the air; someone would be enjoying a delicious dinner that night. She wondered if they’d mind if she joined unannounced.
Turns out gatecrashing wouldn’t be necessary. Opening her front door, she was surprised to find my dad and the source of the aroma; the freshly baked bread pudding he had made.
My dad’s bread pudding would feature many times in my life. Mmmm… And his rice pudding. There would never be warning because it wasn’t a planned sort of dish. But if you spotted what he was making while it was still in the early stages, the wait was torturous, and the smells wafting from the kitchen did not help. By the time you finally sat down with your hot aromatic dish served with ice cream, you’d burn your tongue in your eagerness.
Yep. Sometimes we had pudding for supper. How cool were we.
A few years ago I asked my dad for the bread pudding recipe. A preposterous question, I realised. Books weren’t used for cooking! It wasn’t necessary. Because my dad has a knack. He can look in the fridge and in the kitchen cupboard, and from a few seemingly unrelated ingredients, create dinner.
He also cleans as he cooks. ‘Start with a clean kitchen; end with a clean kitchen’, has always been his way. Each night before we sat down to eat, the counters, stove and sink would be clean, and after dinner there would be only our bowls and cutlery to wash. *sneaks a meaningful glance at husband *
Isn’t it funny the things you learn as you grow up. It’s not always the lessons your parents try so hard to teach you. My dad never sat me down and gave me cooking lessons on how to brown onions or cook pasta or make sauces. Yet I have a knack. I can look in the fridge and in the kitchen cupboard, and from a few seemingly unrelated ingredients, create dinner. And I clean as I cook. (Also as my husband cooks; he’ll often reach for the knife or wooden spoon that he left here just a minute ago…)
As I’ve gotten older, I have realised that the gift of being able to cook has not been shared with everyone. I do think there are many people who believe they can’t cook but who actually could if they gave themselves the chance, and I hope that someday they will discover the wonder of it.
I can gratefully say I was given this gift right from the very beginning.
Thank you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. ♥
Love, Contessa Candice