We moved to the states when I was around 4 years old, my mom spoke no English whats so ever (I should mention that my mom was pregnant at the time with my brother) and my dad lived in Australia for many years so he was a native English speaker.
My dad had a cousin that lived in the states, and we stayed at his home with my aunt and cousins until my dad found a job and settled in to a new country with many challenges, especially if you did not speak the language. My dad found work a few weeks later and my mom gave birth, we moved to our own apartment and life went on. During this whole time my mom still spoke no English, shopping at the supermarket was a daily challenge for her. She would try to find Greek grocery stores, (but these were deli’s not really supermarkets), because that was the only way she was able to communicate. There were many times when my mom would wait until my dad had a day off from work to go to the supermarket so that he could help her with the grocery shopping. 🙂
The apartment we rented was quite big from what I remember and our bedrooms were far from the kitchen. While my brother was sleeping my mom would spend her time in the kitchen cooking, and ironing, besides the other everyday chores that were necessary, and there was a small black and white table TV set that she would have on for a few hours during the day. I remember one day I was coming into the kitchen from my bedroom and I heard my mom trying to pronoun words in English. 🙂 My mom was watching some sort of cooking show and trying to pronouns what the host of the show was saying…I couldn’t believe it!!!
When I looked over at the TV to see what she was watching I saw this tall woman who’s English sounded strange to me, with curly hair and cooking! I stayed for a while and watched, I didn’t want to interrupt her so I went back to my room. A few months later my mom was picking me up from school and I heard her say a few words in English!!!???? She told me that she watches a cooking show called The French Chef with Julia Child!!! and this helped her with the English language, and enjoyed watched Julia Child. 🙂 My mom watched Julia Child’s show for many many years after that and learned how to speak English believe it or not, not perfectly but Julia Child was a main factor in my mom speaking English. 🙂
The other day I was watching The French Chef, and it just so happened that that the show was called “The Potato Show” oven baked potatoes was on the menu for the day. 🙂 Since Thanksgiving is coming up I had in mind to make mashed potatoes as a side dish). Her recipe is quite simple to make and I truly enjoyed watching some of her cooking shows/techniques and after so many years I could see what my mom liked about her.
As for me how could I not purchase Julia Childs cookbook . 🙂 When we moved to the Netherlands and after settling in I went into the City and found this huge bookstore love those bookstores and I found the cookbook section and there it was Julia Childs cookbook. 🙂 I searched for the cookbook in Greece but was never able to find it and to purchase it on the internet was quite expensive, delivery charges etc. So, I had a huge smile walking out of the bookstore with the cookbook….:)
As a huge thank you to the late Julia Child who basically taught my mom English, I am making a oven baked mashed potatoes with a few tweaks and no sausages as Julia had added into her baked potato dish. 🙂 If you haven’t seen any of Julia Childs cooking shows please do she was quite interesting to watch. 🙂
OVEN BAKED MASHED POTATOES WITH GRUYÉRE AND MOZZARELLA CHEESE
- 6 boiled Potatoes
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese grated
- 1/4 cup Gruyére Cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
- Salt and Pepper
- Boil potatoes until soft.
- Melt milk and butter.
- Mash the potatoes until just a few lumps remain. Add into the potatoes the milk and butter mixture, salt and pepper and stir.
- Slowly add in both cheeses and continue to mix together.
- In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and a little Gruyére cheese and mix.
- Pour potato mix into a baking pan and top with breadcrumb mix. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes and until golden brown. This delicious melty potato side dish is absolutely delicious….:)