My mom totally likes the idea for this project. In fact, she found this recipe card that I wrote when I was about seven years old:
She showed it to me when I visited after work. I asked if there were any photographs of me actually cooking-or trying to cook-from when I was small. Who knows what she’ll find but I can guarantee that they will be down right hysterical.
Later on, I searched through a box in my studio office and found the tiny red-trimmed navy apron that my grandfather had given me when I was five. He had purchased new aprons for the wait staff at his last restaurant endeavor in Chatham, MA, and had thought to include me as I always helped, little as I was.
My job was to fill the stainless steel-topped sugar pourers (mostly to the dismay of Donald the baker) and stay out of trouble. I waited tables during slow times because it was a crowd-pleaser. I couldn’t reach the counter or write very well. I would have customers write what they wanted on the order slips and white-knuckle walk them over to my uncle John. He’d ring the bell and meet me at the kitchen door with the plate. I was too small to reach the warming shelf.
The years went on and I graduated from sugar girl to bus girl, then to wait staff, and finally into the kitchen as a prep cook. Family restaurants mean long hours and work that is beyond tedious. Still, thinking about the stories make me giggle. It’s neat to see how this little apron has followed me through my life. I’ve decided to keep this apron in plain sight during this project to remind me of the beginning and what sparked this love for cooking.