You know…I grew up in a house where home-cooked, home-canned, home-grown EVERYTHING was. I hated it. I would go to my friends’ houses just so I could have jelly from a store, or cookies from a package, or pickles from the store. I spent the first, oh…I’d say 25 years of my life knowing how to cook basic things, but not doing anything special. Most of what I cooked came from a box or the freezer, although I did have a couple of dishes I was darn fine at making.
And then I joined this message board, on a whim basically. It’s a tech site, but they have a Kitchen forum. And I started looking around. And then I started wanting to share my mom’s, my grandma’s, my great-grandma’s recipes with these new friends I’d found that I loved. But I felt wrong about posting family recipes I couldn’t make. So I started cooking, and experimenting, and I’ve branched out from there.
So while I would technically say it was my family (mom, grandma on dad’s side, great-grandma on dad’s side [who I never actually met, she died long before I was born]) who originally influenced what I cook…it was a man who became a good friend although we never met, who got me interested in the other site, who got me "hired" in as a moderator (I still "work" for them, three 2 1/2 years later), who unfortunately passed on about a year ago, who influenced me to start cooking for real. Online, he was known as Ralf_Kramden. Some of his recipes have found their way into my family’s traditions, so I know he will always be remembered.