Grandma's 1)Pot Roast 奶奶的炖肉
The delicious 2)aroma of something cooking 3)per-meated the hallway as I climbed up the steps to my grandmother’s apartment.
I couldn’t wait to step inside because I knew something wonderful was always waiting for me, a special dish or a special 4)treat.
I would watch her as she cooked and I thought that someday I too would be as good a cook as my grandmother.
Her eyes lit up as she lovingly placed a dish in front of me. I was the worst 5)picky eater to ever “6)grace” a table. Only at my grandmother’s table would I eat everything in sight. I especially loved her pot roast.
“Grandma, tell me how you make everything so delicious? Someday I want to be the best cook there ever was, just like you.”
“Sweetheart,” she would say, “I do not have any particular recipes, nothing is written down. I use a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”
My heart sank. How was I going to become the “best cook ever” if I did not have an exact recipe? So to remedy the situation, I watched with a careful eye and memorized everything she did.
When she would shop for her ingredients (no big supermarkets back then), I insisted on going. I watched and listened as she spoke with the 7)butcher. Everything had to be perfect. She would say, “The best cut of meat and remove any visible fat as this is for my granddaughter.” Or in the open market, she would again say, “Nothing looks good today. Go inside and get me the freshest vegetables you have.”
I enjoyed being with her and I learned so much.
The years went by, my grandmother passed away and I was left with some beautiful memories of all the times we shared together. She taught me how to cook, to shop, what to look for in a cut of meat and how to get the best 8)bargains. My education in the art of cooking, taught by my grandmother, was priceless.
Did I become as good a cook as my grandmother? My pot roast is almost as good, which 9)brings to mind a very funny story.
When my family lived in 10)Queens, almost every Wednesday my 11)in-laws would come for dinner. They especially enjoyed my pot roast.
One evening while having dinner my husband made an announcement. Speaking directly to his mom he said, “Why can’t you make a pot roast as good as my wife does?”
She answered, “I don’t have to. Marsha makes a pot roast that we all enjoy so let’s leave it at that.”
Several weeks passed and one day while speaking to my mother-in-law we 12)devised a 13)devilish scheme.
“I am going to cook a pot roast at home, take it to your house and not tell anyone where and by whom it was cooked,” she said to me. I agreed. The day arrived and everything went off without a 14)hitch.
After dinner my husband again 15)recited to his mom, “I can’t believe that in all the years I lived in your house, you never learned how to cook. Why can’t you make a pot roast as good as my wife does?”
I laughed until I cried! I couldn’t speak. I had to 16)let the cat out of the bag.
“Michael, I have to tell you something. Your mother made the pot roast and brought it over,” I told my husband.
He couldn’t believe it! The look on his face was one of amazement. I can still see it to this day!
Over the years, my children and friends have requested several of my dishes. One dish is always asked for over and over—pot roast and potatoes. I have 17)accommodated this request on many occasions. I love to cook and enjoy watching and hearing the 18)ooh’s and 19)ah’s as they begin eating.
A few years ago, I 20)sub-mitted my pot roast recipe as a “one-pot meal” in a contest. I had to actually put the recipe to paper even though none existed. I was just 21)ecstatic when I received a check for a small sum and a copy of the cookbook in which it was published.
As I held the book and check in my hand, I started to cry uncontrollably. I wanted my grandmother to know that she was the best cook and teacher there ever was.
We all share special moments with people we love, whether it’s with a parent, family member, teacher or friend. These moments cannot be 22)duplicated. I cherish every moment I spent with my grandmother.