Dad’s Helpers

Grandma’s hands made the best apple pie ever.

Everyone needs helpers, right? Learning how to cook often involves a mom or grandma, but not everyone has one of those or one who’s a good cook. I learned a little from my mom, who was an average, suburban middle-class 1950’s mom who tried out TV dinners, fish sticks, and margarine when they were popular and for all the right convenience reasons. I learned other stuff from my Irish grandma—always use butter and lard to make pie crust; put sugar and milk in your afternoon tea. Grandma also showed me, unintentionally, that most cooking has been done for millenia by semi-literate folk with long experience, parents who taught them, and persistent effort. I needed to understand that to stop being intimidated by cooking.

Starting early in the Age of TV, home cooking went commercial, or in the case of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on public television, non-commercial. Then in the 90’s, we got Food TV, America’s Test Kitchen, and more. In the 2000’s, we read Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, upon whose sage and prolific shoulders I have built my food philosophy.

I (Dad) don’t actually know any of these people. But they sure have been important in getting my head screwed on right about food and cooking. I can’t recommend them highly enough.

My guides to the food revolution

Amateurs (Doin’ it for the love of it)


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