My mom was raised on a farm in Northern Alberta. We always had homemade bread and cakes, smoked salmon from my uncles in British Columbia and jams from the aunties. Having 5 kids and a tight budget, we had our share of Kraft Mac and Cheese and Bisquick pot pies too. But my mother instilled in me the belief that food was good as long as it was made with care and love. As I cook, I always think fond thoughts of the loved ones I know will be eating the meal.
We had a Jewish next-door neighbor as I was growing up who taught me to make brisket, latkes and rugelech. She was my second mom and my second biggest influence.
We could hardly ever afford to eat out…McDonalds was a huge treat. And to this day, I always get a special thrill out of going out to eat…even if it is just fast food. But with taste buds honed on made from scratch, I do go for those one-of-a-kind places where the food is still made with care and love.