For seven years, I lived with Grandpa. Grandpa did a lot of creative things with his hands like carving, and painting but the best thing he did was cooking.
He would just saunter into the kitchen, wear his apron that said, “Real men can cook!” and get to it. He would pull out some meat and vegetables from the refrigerator and get to work. Dinner was never a shortcut meal. Grandpa had rules. There had to be protein, there had to be carbohydrates and there had to be vitamins. Grandpa had a box full of spices and he said that spices were good for the senses so he always used them liberally. He would get to work like an artist, cutting the meat into even sized portions and chopping the onions and garlic and vegetables to geometrical perfection and before long he would be on his way to creating culinary magic. Yes, grandpa did have his signature dishes which were the pride of every Christmas dinner. His Pork Vindaloo and Christmas cake were famous and lucky were the people who were called to partake of it, but the best part of Grandpa’s cooking was his everyday random cooking. He didn’t believe in measuring ingredients so he just used a pinch of this and a pinch of that and voila he created something new every time!
Grandpa cooked with his heart and that’s what made him such a great cook. He would just add one ingredient after the other, listening to his favorite country music and an hour later he would have a sumptuous meal ready. My Grandpa was undoubtedly the best cook in the world.