Diane, what's cooking?

This is another guest blog written by my niece Jaime Bedrin from New Jersey. Jaime teaches at Columbia School of Journalism and has worked at NPR in Charlotte (WFAE) and  some of her stories have been on the national NPR network. She is the proud mom of Henry, married to Scott Dodd and is known to break out in a Broadway show tune without warning. 

Bea Slater and Diane Bedrin about 1972
"There's an old family joke that my mom Diane never learned to cook. I'm not really sure if this is true or if she doesn't like to cook."

Or maybe she doesn't like to clean up after cooking (who does?). But I do like to cook. I like to follow simple recipes (6 items or less). I also enjoy experimenting, although I've learned that baking is not an experimental sport. It once took me three attempts to make meringues. But now I know that in order to make them, I have to use an electric mixer, the mix master that I never wanted has now become a kitchen staple.

Recently my husband Scott planted a vegetable garden at our Montclair, New Jersey home. He has spent hours tending to our radishes, green beans and tomatoes.  The first time I picked lettuce it occurred to me that I’ve never done this before. Now I’m using my salad spinner a lot more, as I try to clean the dirt from the delicate lettuce leaves. It’s amazing to watch the tomato stalks grow. We can’t wait for them to ripen.

Even though I am an amateur cook (I once used an entire head of garlic in lieu of a clove) I am learning. If my mom were a more proficient chef I might have started cooking sooner. But I don't know that I would want to be a better cook. Sometimes my mom surprises me. We were grilling salmon the other night and I asked her which mustard to use: dijon or honey. She looked at me and said, "mix ‘em". And that's exactly what I did. The salmon was delicious.

Scott, Henry & Jaime
My mom may not have showed me how to double recipes, but she did teach my brother Garret and I to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed junk foods.  We didn’t roast chickens together (and we still don’t), but she planted in me a desire to do more with food and be creative with recipes, when appropriate.

Henry & Scott in the garden

Jaime Bedrin

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