April 11, 2010

Stainless Steel & Patience

I didn't learn to cook until I was in my 20s.  When I was growing up there was too much to do outside and neither I nor my sister wanted to be in the kitchen while my grandmother, mother, aunts, etc. were preparing food and cooking.  Although, I always made my rounds throughout the day to grab a snack or two and often overheard or was forced to hear tips of the trade.  My best friend's grandmother, otherwise known as Nana, cooked alot in my house when I was a child.  My grandmother died when I was very young and Nana is the one I remember cooking the most when I was a child while my mother helped my father run their restaurant. I never really knew the difference between stainless, cast iron, cast aluminum, etc.  I just knew that the food that I ate every night was absolutely delicious.  It was mainly Cuban food, my mother's side of the family, and alot of it was cooked in a pressure cooker.  There was also alot of Spanish food, my stepfather's side of the family, which I mainly ate at my parent's restaurant.

When I started experimenting with recipes and actually cooking I was twenty-something.  At the same time I started cooking I started to get familiar with this thing called patience.  I was never patient as a young girl but when I started cooking I learned that the best foods were baked in the oven and not cooked in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop and, therefore, required patience.  Lasagna became my favorite food to bake and I got pretty good at it.  I would bake lasagna at least once a week and experiment with all sorts of foods that I could bake in the oven.  All of this time I was using hand-me-down pots and pans that were made with non-stick surfaces or were cast aluminum (from my parent's restaurant).  I used my first cast iron pan in 1985 and became a fan except I didn't, and still don't, like how heavy cast iron is compared to the cast aluminum pans that I was used to.  I also started using stainless steel in the late 80's and I was perplexed by it.  My patience reached a new level while I was accomplishing the art of cooking with stainless steel.  It took quite some time to get used to stainless steel and my new level of patience but I accomplished it without giving in and now I am all the better for it and so are the foods I cook in my stainless steel pans ;)

Life is exactly that way.  It will take you a long time while you are going through life to accomplish the patience you need but, when you get older, when things slow down a bit, when YOU slow down a bit, you will appreciate the patience that you have acquired along the way.

Barbara Vidal
Avon Independent Sales Representative

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