This entry was contributed by Helen Shepherd, Kristi's mom. She is an incredible chef, a thoughtful foodie, and an uber-Grandma.
Were I to write a cookbook, I would title it “My Passion 4 Food”. My food journey began, as with most of us, with meals prepared by grandparents and parents. My mother enjoyed cooking as did her mother. My mother was happiest in the kitchen. It was never a chore. Laundry, cleaning the other tasks could wait. The kitchen was the soul of our home.
The kitchen was where you would find me, after school, sitting on our kitchen barstool, sharing my day, as she prepared the family meal. My presence in her domain was to keep her company. I was a keen observer, as I watched her chop, slice, dice vegetables and fruits. She would saute, roast, fry and bake poultry, meats, and fish. Whiffs of homemade breads, cakes and pies filled the air on so many afternoons. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were made with loving care. Preparing high quality food, with the freshest of ingredients, were important to her. I recall when TV dinners came on the scene in the 60’s, and she would have none of that. I am convinced this special time with her launched my interest in food, without me even realizing it.
When I married, and was testing out my food world, I distinctly recall preparing my first simple home cooked dinner. It was tasty! From planning to shopping and preparing, I was captivated by my new creative endeavor. I began with simple meals, but over the course of years, my taste buds, interest, and knowledge in the food world expanded ten fold. With the opportunity to travel, meet and make new friends from other cultures, my interest in food choices became boundless. My cookbook collection expanded, recipe files overflowed. I also became interested in improving the nutrition component of meals to make sure we enjoyed the healthiest options. I feel very fortunate that both our daughters enjoy being part of my food world and now are on their own journey. They too, were excellent observers. I think it is part of their DNA!
For my first Hot Off the Grill recipe, I have included a terrific and easy Beef Stroganoff recipe.