There is no traditional food fixation in the history of my particular family. My mom took frozen tacos and fried them in oil, she bought Pillsbury’s biscuits and banged the tube on the counter edge to open them. i don’t recall sitting at my grandmas’s knee as a kid watching with rapt attention as she made whatever ethnic delight associated with her own past.
No, our meals often came out of boxes or frozen boxes of veggies, and TV dinners and Swanson pot pies were the norm. Food was not seen as much more in life than sustenance or a necessary glue for socializing.
My memories of food in the Juricich household are limited and peculiar:
– attending a party that served hamburger tartare –the notion of eating raw meat thrilled me as so ‘grownup’
– my father showing me how to make scrambled eggs at 13–the simplicity and astonishing transformation never left me
– well into my adulthood, an acquaintance at a dinner party managed to explain the nuances of difference between various red wines…of course, I was stoned through my gills, but I still got it
It was only in 2009 when my wife and I visited Barcelona and experienced the culture and tapas and the cuisine that my latent desire to recreate these morsels came into full bloom. My initial passion for all foods Iberian remains, but has long since transitioned to an appreciation of good food across international borders–Mediterranean, Asian, Indian…you name it, I will cook it–or bake it–with gusto.
I don’t think of myself as a ‘gifted’ cook one way or the other, but I do bring passion to my countertop and stovetop as well as a relative fearlessness–I’m not afraid to fail! So if a dish doesn’t measure up, I will persevere and get it right. If a dinner party is looming and the cuisine or method is untested, I will dive in and allow our guests (much to my wife’s consternation) to experience its success…or not so success (desserts of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter could ‘fail’ to match the appropriate appearance but the flavors rarely do).
I’ve been cooking now with passion and direction since 2009, I’ve supplemented my home cooking experience with work as a part-time baker, part-time wine and cheese clerk, and part-time Spanish foods seller.
i love cooking and hope to inspire folks to realize that even if you are past 50, its never too late to take command in a kitchen, to learn how to do new things in a kitchen (not to mention computers and blogging online), and realize that even if life is starting to wind down, you can still learn and find passion in the simplest, everyday tasks.