Do you remember the first dish you ever cooked?
I like MFK Fisher's story of the "Hindu Eggs" she cooked for her sister as a young girl, adding curry powder so liberally that her lips blistered. But she was too proud to admit defeat and ate them all.
I used to spend my free periods at school in the library, reading cookbooks. I was 11 years old. Having pored over the creme caramel recipe for weeks, I finally signed it out of the library, went home and made the damn things in a bain marie (I went to a French school so this didn't sound too alien to me!). They turned out perfect and I was hooked for life (in culinary school now).
What was your first culinary milestone, successful or otherwise?
I think I was about 10 years old.
I wanted to make some sort of super elegant creamy hors d'oeuvre-type thing.
My mom defrosted some of her homemade pastry and I mixed up some leftover roast pork with a bunch of random things and topped with cheese.
It wasn't quite god-awful, but darn close.
BUT, I haven't looked back....I was making casseroles in white sauce (included making roux) by my 11th birthday. :)
Cinnamon toast. I think I was seven or so, and saw the recipe in some kid's cookbook. Just your typical toast the bread, butter it, make a cinnamon/sugar mixture and sprinkle it thickly over the bread and then toast in the oven for a few minutes, but boy, it was the greatest thing ever for me for quite a while.
I was eight. I had given my Mom a big yellow cookbook for X-mas...hint, hint. She was not a cook. Not at all.
She never read it. This disturbed me. So I read it. I made flan one night. I was from then on known as the cook in the house.