Who is the master chef in my family?

Hands down, my Mom is the best cook in our family. And, unfortunately, there is no heir apparent.

Ours is a foodie family. Every occasion or non-occasion is an occasion to enjoy some good grub. Occasions are even created just so that we can gather and decide on a menu of some sorts. My parents were a great combination. Mom was a great cook. And Dad was a gastronome/gourmand of note. This left us kids to fall somewhere between the two. Unfortunately, none of us followed in the footsteps of Mom. Perfecting the making part of the food. Instead, we followed Dad. Perfecting the eating part of food.

Growing up our house was not short of recipe books. With Dad being the biggest shopper for recipe books. Everything from local South African cuisine to a collection of what looked like encyclopaedias from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School. (http://www.cordonbleu.edu/). Mom seldom followed a recipe though. Assessing the basics of the recipe, she always tweaked it here and there. Which made it difficult for anyone else to replicate what she made.

We had many family gatherings and there was never a shortage of food. Every kind of starter, main course, side dish and dessert you could possibly timagine. The result is that us kids grew up with adventurous palates. Some of us more than the others. Me to be precise. Dad would eat and try any cuisine at least once. And I inherited this from him. For all her culinary expertise, Mom is a simple eater. Her favourite meal of the day is breakfast. And her best and quickest meal is toast with marmalade. The brain just boggles.

I have picked up a thing or two. Mom ran a catering company for a while and everyone got roped in to help. I have learnt a few improvisational things in the kitchen. Although cooking is not my thing. I prefer baking. I can make custard from scratch as in from egg yolks and not custard powder. But I especially paid attention to learning to make some of my favourites which includes lasagne with spinach pasta and pastry wrapped lamb chops. These unfortunately have no recipe but instead the technique has been passed on from one generation to the next. Cooking taught through intuition, touch, sight and taste.

Who is the best cook I  your family?

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