I came from a long line of chefs; they were not just chefs but competitive chefs.
I remember as a girl, my mom at my grandmother’s house and they would both cook the same cake and then ask my grandad to vote which one was the best. It was all in good fun but cooking in my family was a serious thing.
Most of us dreaded the annual cooking events because we all took it in turns, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, family BBQ’s. We all did well but always felt a huge sense of pressure and we had to push ourselves to make better and bigger things.
The last time my sister cooked the Christmas dinner and we had 15 courses, I am really not kidding, it is a wonder any of us could get out of the door, we all ate so much.
My turn eventually came. It was my turn to host the yearly BBQ. My mom held the last one and it was spectacular. I had to do something really special.
I was lucky enough that I had earned enough money as a chef to buy my own restaurant and my very successful restaurant had bought me a nice big house, with a matching large garden. Good job really as I was going to need it.
My gorgeous mom kept calling me a few days before the BBQ to ask if I was ok and did I need a hand with anything. What she actually meant was, was I up to the job. We were all used to this by now. To be fair to my mum, we were all the same, needling each other, it was our naturally competitive streak and we all took it in a lighthearted way.
I went all out. It was great having my own restaurant, I used the kitchens to prepare a lot of my food. I bought a spit roast and suckling pig. I made potato salad, coleslaw and various dips. I cooked sides of pork and beef and bought some fireworks for the evening. The pool was set up with loungers with outside lighting for an evening swim.
The last thing was a homemade chilli. I never told anyone this was how I did it but it worked for me, I always used a pressure cooker and bought it with the help of a website called: http://www.pressurecookersportal.com/.
My chilli was always a winner, I know my mom thought it was better than hers, not that she would admit it but I do think it is the only thing I cook better than any of my family. The menu and the preparation for the day was complete.
My family arrive early, as always. I think they did it to throw us off guard but I was prepared. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was a great day.
I had set up games for everyone. The kids played tennis and jumped in and out of the pool. The adults were chatting and helping with the food. The BBQ was on and the burgers etc. were cooking. I was so proud of myself as I had even made the burger buns and bread by hand. This was the best family meal I had hosted.
My mom pulled me aside and told me how proud she was of me. Although I said how much that meant to me, I don’t think she knew that it actually made me shed a tear. Praise like that coming from my mom was huge and I felt that as a chef, I had really arrived. Honed my craft and had my mom’s seal of approval.
My sister’s turn next and I couldn’t wait…