30 Days of Truth, Day 17

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

<stepping up to tie my cherry apron on> I must admit… The book that most shaped me- or my life… is The Joy of Cooking, by By Irma von Starkloff Rombauer. I was 9 when my dad gave me my first copy. I started playing with him in the kitchen and he was painfully honest. I learned to follow a recipe exactly, and how to create my own. I learned to have confidence in myself, but also how to be humbly hopeful someone will like what you make. I learned how to bake myself happy 🙂 Thankfully Weight Watchers taught me how to bake myself thin because I come from generations of comfort eaters.Food-Is-Love-Is-Food in my family. I knew from an early age I couldn’t out cook my Dad… but I knew I could out-bake him. He was mercilessly critical when I deserved it- and praised me by putting things I’d made on the menu. My Dad is the definition of go big or go home.

So armed with my Joy of Cooking- I learned to bake.

My first pie was the plain old Apple pie recipe on page 651. It’s the same recipe I still use. It’s wonderful. The secret is to use Jonagold apples.

I learned how to can with this cookbook- and I learned how to debone a fish. I still pretty much suck at tying a roast. I make a mean chocolate eclair.

All thanks to the Joy of Cooking.

30 Days of Truth, Day 14

30 Days of Truth, Day 14 – A hero that has let you down.

Dear Dad,

When I was little, the first thing you taught me to make was pie crust. I spent hours trying to get you to like it. You never did. The first time I made you pie as an adult- I made 4 batches of crust before I chose the one to use. You loved it- raved about it like you always had. I couldn’t even eat the rest of the chicken pot pie. I let it mold in the fridge because I was so overwhelmed by how much you’d loved it. You never understood how much we wanted to make you proud- knowing it wasn’t easy only made us all try harder to outdo one another.

You broke our mom’s heart every chance you got. Cheating on her with our best friends’ mothers even. You blew it on a personal level so many times it was hard to fathom you could look us in the face. You never failed to swoop in on birthdays and wow us. You always gave wonderful gifts- not that we’d ever asked for any of the things you gave us. You loved to spoil us- you just couldn’t be bothered to get to know what we loved. Unintentional- definitely. You were driven to work and cook- not to love and parent. Its simply a fact of life. You still owe mom a huge apology.

You’re the very shittiest Grandfather you could possibly be. You haven’t seen Alex since he was 6- and Issy was 1. She gets a confused look on her face when I mention Grandpa Greg. That’s really sad- Dad. You may not be my birth-father, but you’ve always been my Dad- and you sort of suck at it the older we get. Thanks for the online gift certificates to Victoria’s Secret- but really? You could just pick up the phone and call. Remember how much your girls love you- its what you owe all of us.

You were my hero when I was a little girl- and I thought you were the most amazing dad ever. Seeing how much less you cared the older we got was just sad, and really? I wish you’d remember that the restaurant wont take care of you when you’re old, or hold your hand when you’re dying. Be a real hero and be a father. Be a good husband- be an honest friend.

At the very least, be worthy of us calling you our Hero.