I remember the first meal I served very distinctly. I was four years old and my customer was Marchie, my beloved stuffed monkey. We lived on 54th street in the theater district and my mother had just fed me lunch
My mother grew up in Paris, one of 11 children, and had memories of bomb shelters and only flour and water to eat, as well as raucous family meals.[What else could they have been with 11 children?]When she landed in America as a young girl, she paid her way by assisting the dietitian with all the meals at her Ann Arbor, Michigan school.So family tradition,hunger and a decidedly forward thinking school cook all led to food and dinner time being somewhat of an obsession.My mother would always prepare a 2 and sometimes 3 course meal for us.Working beside Mama in the kitchen was a cloth woven with long periods of comfortable silences,confessions,laughing and the intricate ballet required when you have more than one person in a New York City apartment kitchen.What I write here has so much to do with this woman who would literally swoon eating a marron glace. Appreciation, gratitude and wonder.She had those and I hope to share some with you.