As I was walking my dog, I smelled something in the air. Barbecque, that is one of my favorite smells from my childhood. That’s because my step dad is a chef and he taught me how to cook. From the first time I saw my step dad toss some Chinese I knew he had skills with his cooking ability.
Many of my memories are of my step dad being patient with me as he taught me how to cook. He first taught me simple kitchen safety skills such as how to cut and chop vegetables and meat with a chef knife. Once I had that down he taught me simple meals. One of my favorites was chicken tenders. I would request many of my favorite meals many times.
Once I had the basics down, he taught me how to take a simple dish and give it a twist. Omelets were not my favorite until the ingredients were on top. So, he made a dish called the upside down-inside out Omelet. My mom and I would go surprise him at work. He would know that his wife and child were there; I would order only something from the at home menu. One of my fondest memories was when I was probably about seven or eight years old and my step dad got permission to take me back to the kitchen to give me a tour. I remember it being so hot and noisy compared to the quiet music filled kitchen of our home.
As I got older and more advanced with my cooking and knife skills, he taught me more complex meals such as Chicken Marsala and pork tenderloin.
Our favorite meals to do as a family was chicken and steak on the grill. We spent that time as a family. My dad and I would cook the meats and my mom would do a side dish such as twice baked potatoes. I was a growing girl; I loved the chicken legs so much that I would easily eat enough to cover my whole mouth and cheeks in barbecue sauce.
We used to dance in the kitchen as we cooked too. My dad used to twirl me and dip me around while we waited for our food to finish cooking. My mom would get in on the action too.
One of the last memories I have of us cooking and hanging out in the kitchen together was when I was able to use a chef knife without any help. My mom was so proud of the achievement.
We used to play games outside while we grilled. I loved spending time with my family and I sure do miss those special times. Every time I smell barbecue cooking I can think back and smile with memories of my childhood.