It wasn’t until my sister and I got older and started cooking ourselves that we begun to ask our mom for the recipes.
Mom, how do you make stuffed peppers?
Mom, what do you do to your sweet cabbage stew?
My mom was always all too happy to explain to us in the tiniest details the making of the peppers or cabbage or anything else in the world. She was delighted that we showed interest in her field of expertise, perhaps because it was so infrequent. She became our culinary Alexa or Siri, including never-tired ‘repeat’ button.
Now, here’s something interesting both my sister and I encountered.
Follow the recipe as closely as we could, our final result was NEVER as good as mom’s.
This was quite mystifying for a long time.
Did you saute the onions until they are translucent before putting in the meat? Yes. Did you put the lid on and turn down the temperature to low? Yes. And still it didn't come out right? Nope.
Not until just recent years, I don't know what but something happened and our mom started sharing her secrets with us.
A secret ingredient for cabbage.
A secret ingredient for peppers.
A secret sauce for…
All this time, she was telling the truth - she wasn't lying - but not the whole truth.
She held back, she kept an ace up her sleeve, so to speak…
When she started getting REAL with us, divulging some of her best kept secrets, it all came together. Now when I make peppers or sweet cabbage, they are as good as mom’s.
During all these years of practice, I didn't realize I was missing an ingredient. I tried to make a stew or a soup, but, unbeknownst to me, something was left out.
Following in my mom's footsteps, now, when I share a recipe, I make sure I hold something back...
I keep an ace up my sleeve...
When I think of it, it truly is the best kept family secret!
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he will make them know his covenant. Psalm 25:14