RF Jurjevics


Life, Loss, and TV Dinners: How The Kid Of A Food Writer Finally Learned To Cook

“This thing I know my mother gave me, shows up so acutely in those moments”

There’s still a particular anecdote from my childhood that my dad likes to tell, even though I am now approaching my mid 30s. In this story, I’m about 10 years old, and it has been (gently) suggested to me that it might be time I learned to use the stove. Back then, we lived on West 20th Street in Manhattan and the stove in question was a big, brown, gas-powered behemoth that I only paid attention to if a batch of clay needed to bake or if Dad and I were making pancakes for breakfast. Other than that, I ignored it completely. So when this offer of instruction was given to me, I (apparently) gave my father quite a look over my big, plastic glasses and said “Dad,” (here’s where Dad gives his voice for young me an admonishing tone and then chuckles) “I don’t do fire.”

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