noun Slang .
1. vigor; verve; pep.
2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
3. skill; know-how.
The term is also a name – mine. Well, it’s actually my “grandmother” name. Additionally, the term includes everything a person needs to be successful in a kitchen. Being from the South, the very deep South, and having the privilege of being raised by a woman whose character she felt was defined by the quality and quantity of food she could put out at any given time, I have an ingrained love for eating. My relationship with food has been a rocky one. We have broken up a few times along the way, but I always come back to the comfort and the memories that define so many of the recipes in my “box.” My parents died many years ago, but my brother and I talk constantly about the recipes that mother had. He has a few and I have a few and we talk quite often about the memories that each recipe evokes, not just when we eat them, but even when we just talk about them. While my mother lay dying, my brother and I, purely because we felt powerless and knew nothing else to do, set out to have an “Iron Chef” competition. We cooked all day, laughing and crying, tasting and talking. Our relationship and our understanding of life grew in my mother’s kitchen on that day. That night we fed our family the bounty. Who won? Let me just put it this way – My younger son hesitated for a moment and then said, “No offense, Mom, yours is really good, but Uncle Sam is a better cook.” I can live with that. If you ever ate at his table, you would understand. If you are interested in his blog and want to spend all day on a recipe, go to asouthernboycooks.wordpress.com. As for me, the focus will be on fast and super good food. I think memories can be made even at that speed!
Cooking is a struggle. Many chores can go undone – the dirty dishes can sit, the cleaning can wait, and surely I can wear those jeans JUST ONE MORE TIME! But cooking, like breathing, must go on! It is, with all of its accompanying exhaustion and frustration, an art form (edible as it may be) and an act of love. I knew that there must be a way to fix a great meal, actually enjoy preparing it, and still have time and energy to do other things. A while back I set out to compile a set of recipes that had to be easy ( in this case defined as 20-45 minutes start to finish on prep and cleanup), memorable, really tasty, and ……..FUN (or at least rewarding) to make. Here is that compilation. Welcome to my kitchen! Feel free to comment. I will add constantly, so come back for a second helping!
Alison (aka Moxie)