AMBROSIA or “It’s 5:00 and What’s in the Fridge?”

I started cooking when I was 2…or at least I thought so. My Mom was bringing the groceries and my brother Vic from the car. She set me down on the counter, a bag of groceries on one side and her purse on the other. She went out to get more groceries and Vic. When she got back she found me happily making a cake. In her purse. With the eggs from the top of the grocery bag. We learned 2 things that day…

(1) Don’t let me get bored, I will amuse myself…

and

(2) Don’t leave me alone with your purse! (I will amuse myself!)

Over the years my cooking skills have matured, except for the time I used cinnamon instead of garlic in spaghetti. I thought I was so original until, about 20 years later, my son did the same thing the 1st time he made spaghetti! Don’t try this at home. It’s not a total disaster in that it is edible…at least by proud (and amused) parents, but I don’t think it’s a taste delight that is destined to catch on.

The 1st thing I ever learned to make from scratch (pudding is from a box, so doesn’t count as cooking) was brownies. I’m also really good at cookies and fudge…which alternately turns out as fudge sauce, which is no loss because it’s the best fudge sauce ever so we have ice cream more till it runs out. My Great Aunt Zora used to make fudge for my Dad on his birthday every year. He kept it hidden in the back of the fridge but when you have kids nothing is ever really hidden, at least not for long. When Aunt Zora died we expected to find her wonderful fudge recipe in one of her cookbooks, but OH! NO! It was nowhere to be found! This was a huge loss to the world, so when I got married and moved away I started collecting important family recipes. Writing them down for me got Mom started on that, too. Not that she didn’t save recipes before, we just became more aware of the transcendent nature of certain personal culinary specialties. I have been on a quest for the perfect fudge recipe ever since, and while I have come close I still have more work to do before Aunt Zora’s secret is re-discovered.

I don’t just make sweets, I make other things, too. Menudo, lasagna, breads, tacos, soups, saurbraten, pies, roasts, and a great duck among lots of other things. I’ll eventually get it all down. I started to write my cook book 20 years ago and my then-husband Dan suggested the title because I can make yummy stuff with advance warning or even on a moment’s notice. I’m the oldest of 5 kids and when I moved out I just kept cooking for an army and using the leftovers the rest of the week to make other things. Waste not…well, we try. When I post a recipe it’ll generally be as from scratch as I can make it, but read through because I’ll add variations and shortcuts at the end.

I’ll try to post regularly. The first 2 recipes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, are up and another is in the works. It’s about the ultimate stuffing. Have fun, learn a lot and don’t destroy the Universe.

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