What is your first culinary memory?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by jeremy, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy

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    I thought this was a subject reserved for cookbook authors and French chefs only, but after thinking about it I realized I had one.

    When I was about five years old my grandmother had an apple tree in her garden. I watched this apple grow and grow and was always pestering her to let me eat it. The day came when it was as big as it would get, and I was allowed to eat it, in fact I started to eat it whilst it was still conected to the branch. That apple was so sour! It was a cooking apple which she had never kept a secret and she had always said I would not be able to eat it raw...... I still ate it, and got a stomache ache for my troubles. First culinary memory or first memory of being bull headed?
     
  2. panini

    panini

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    My parents tell a story how I cried when a waiter brought out my first plate of pasta and it was white. My grandmother was the pasta machine and she only made whole wheat, spinach, red pepper etc.
    I can recall having the same reaction with my first pizza. My favorite growing up was dough brushed with olive oil,I think my grandma used to put eggs,spinach,cheese, it was very thin.
     
  3. kimmie

    kimmie

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    At a very young age, I discovered my grandmother's "choux à la crème" (cream puffs), filled with whipped cream. They were huge and sooooooooo light, just like clouds!

    I'm still very fond of cream puffs!

    ;) :D
     
  4. campchef

    campchef

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    Iremember going to my Grandpa's farm sale when I was eight. I saw all these people standing around and thought they looked hungry. I talked Grandma into letting me use the gas burner in the basement, gathered my cousins around and made popcorn. We sold it in little paper lunch bags for 25 cents. I thought I was quite the businessman. Now I look back and realize the folks saw the eight year old grandson of the farmer selling out, how could they not buy a bag. Popcorn still reminds me of Grandpa.
     
  5. isa

    isa

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    I have so many food memories I'll try to limit myself. :)

    I was about 5 when I tasted home made bread. I had never thought one could make bread in their home. For me it was the bakery brought to our house. That was the good old days when milkman and bakery delivered to your house. I was at my friend's house and the sitter made bread. I can to this day recall the taste of the hot bread with butter. I was so amazed by that bread. I went home asking my mother why she did not make our bread instead of buying it.

    Then there’s the lobster in Maine. I was always so excited when we would go and buy some at Lord’s. They would steam them and place them in paper bags. To this day the smell of wet brown paper bag reminds me of lobster. My father says at 3 or 4 I could shelled my own lobster. I think he’s exaggerating a little. I was always amazed by the taste of it. It was always so good, tasting a bit like the ocean. And the butter made the saltiness of it stand out.
     
  6. amybruno

    amybruno

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    My first culinary memory was when i was 6. Everyday I would walk up the path to my grandmas house and we would always make something. My first real memory of cooking is of standing at her counter top on a steping stool with my sleeves pushed up past my elbows and a bit of pie dough infront of me.

    everything i know going into culinary school was because of my grandma. its still nice to drive home and sit with her for a bit, she has a WONDERFUL collection of antque cook books with like fresh lard and funny ingredients like that. the cooking methods are also different.

    even to this day i still find myself compeled to take a bit of raw pie dough. even though i know it tastes horrible it reminds me of the old days.
     
  7. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Mine goes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. I mean, I was maybe 2 or so: sitting in a highchair in the hallway outside our kitchen, eating the meat off the chicken necks my mother had used to make soup. (She confirmed that I used to do this.) To this day, I still love to pick the meat off the neck bones, although I do prefer it roasted now.
     
  8. anneke

    anneke

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    I must have been three or so when I discovered the joys of bone marrow. Dad used to make vats of lentil soup in the pressure cooker (we used it a lot) and stick a few bones in there. I'd get a piece of crusty bread, spread the marrow on it, give it a good sprinkle of salt and go crazy! I loved it so much that my parents would actually let me get out of bed to have it if they were cooking late into the night. I still melt at the thought of it...
     
  9. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Three years old in my grandma's vinyard in Israel-Haifa.
    I was staring a huge pricky pear and I decided to just take one.
    My hands were covered by those yellow thorns but I did't let the pricky pear off my hand. I unpeeled it and ate it and this was the sweetest taste and my first lesson in life that sweet things need pain to be tasted..
     
  10. rachel

    rachel

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    It is indeed a lovely thread, it has also reminded me of the importance of teaching children to value food and cooking, and not letting them assume that food magically appears on a plate by mysterious forces that they are kept away from or from a paper bag from the deepest recesses of McDonalds. . .
    My eariest memories are of my paternal grandmother's soda bread. I only ever had it in her house. When I made my first batch myself at about fifteen (my grandmother had passed on by then), I eagerly asked my father if it tasted the same as my Grandmothers. Imagine my surprise when he told me that she had always made hers from a ready made packet mix!! And what a disappointment! I still make soda bread though!:lol:
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Eating frozen baby green peas as "popscicles" My mom probly died when I figured out what everyone elses version is.
    Double bing cherries (culls) grocery bags full crisp and oh so sweet.....the joys of living in California....fresh figs off a friend's tree, almonds out of our yard and croquant that my mom made with fresh almonds and sugar (she lived in France during her teenage years).
     
  12. pastachef

    pastachef

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    I don't have any really young memories to share, but I'll never forget trying to make my first pan of gravy as a young bride. It was so thick and lumpy that I first tried running it through a sieve, then tried the electric mixer on it! :0) All this time, I was praying that my country bumpkin husband, who came from a whole line of perfect gravy makers, would NOT come into the kitchen. The biscuits were even worse!:D :D :D
     
  13. hubuk

    hubuk

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    Back in 1964 I was away at boarding school. One of the traditions was that on a Sunday night (I was thirteen at the time) each student (all boys) had to cook his own evening meal. We had about six gas rings between 30 odd boys (no, not odd boys - odd as in about that number!). My first term my mother bought me this new fangled frying pan that had just been brought out - a non-stick frying pan.

    Now I thought a non-stick pan was a great idea for cooking my fried egg. I wouldn't need any fat, would I, if it was non-stick? WRONG - what a mess. To get the egg off the pan meant removing the teflon coating.:D
     
  14. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Hmmmmm, I have many memories but amongst my fondest culinary experiences is when my grandmother allowed me to help her roll the croissants, only the plain ones though. It's quite a technique (as several of you know) and I was only 5 :)
     
  15. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    Cooking with my great grandma was so much fun . Pies and breads and soups and cookies . I got hooked at a young age .
    Thanks great grandma .
     
  16. pastachef

    pastachef

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    Your grandma is a lucky woman,Chefboy. I want so much for my food loving grandson to be a chef, but he wants to be a lawyer.:(
     
  17. isa

    isa

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    Any culinary memories I have that involves my grandmother belong in the nightmare category.
     
  18. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    :lol: Courage Pastachef! I know how dissapointed you must feel, maybe when he will grow up he will change his mind! Tell him that Chefs in our days are not just admired but they are worshiped!!

    Now that Christmas approach I cannot help of thinking my grandmother and her endless stories that have to do with cookies' preparation!!

    But as Isa put it , when it comes to culinary memories, those that involve my mother belong to the nightmare category.
    She cooked NOTHING to keep herself thin :rolleyes:
     
  19. rachel

    rachel

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    Athenaeus, did your mother keep herself thin, and was it worth the sacrifice?
     
  20. flash

    flash

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    When I was four, I attempted to sample a hot, red, syrupy liquid boiling on the stove. It was October, and my mother was making candied apples for our family. As I dipped my finger into the molten sugar, a piercing shriek escaped my lips. My mother nearby immediately plunged my hand into an ice-cold water bath to stop the burning. Later, when asked why I had done such a thing I replied, "it looked so good. I just wanted to taste it." I consider this first conscious effort to taste food, my initiation into the world of cooking and culinary arts. YeeOUCH!