Hometown Boy by Duane Dailey April 29, 2015 The Mirror (excerpts of interest to me....)
I asked my grandmother for her recipe. She said, "Recipes are for people who don't know how to cook."
She'd made biscuits, hot rolls, noodles, pie dough, pot roasts, fried chickens by the ton. I realize she didn't need a cook book. She didn't use graduated measuring cups or spoons.
She dipped into the tip-out bin under the cabinent and grabbed open hands full of flour for the mixing crock. She added dollops of lard. Splashes of milk. A dash of salt or spice. She was hands-on, hands-in cook. She mixed dough by feel.
She'd learned to cook from her mother. She'd practiced as a child. Then she cooked breakfasts, dinners, suppers and lots of pies and cookies for her family and their friends. The dining table would have a dozen people, or more, around it at every meal, every day. That took speed and agility.
No time for recipes.
Recently, housebound with a bad leg, I cooked more and went out to eat less. I've had time to consider my cooking skills. I improvise, inspired by my grandmother and my mother who were inspired by their mothers and mothers-in-law.
My cooking skill comes from seeing and enjoying the benefits of knowing good country cooks. After learning some basics I improvise with what is at hand. I'm not a meal planner.
I learned in the U.S. Army there's a difference between a person given a command and a person who earns leadership.