I will say that the first time I tried to make a vegetarian soup from scratch was quite an adventure. I had a big date night planned, and this full course of things planned. The hardest part was making sure everything was mostly done by the time she came over. Needless to say, everything went smooth! I can always impress with the good cookin'. ;]
Getting everything to be ready at the same is a challenge! Now that I've experienced trying to have everyone in the same place and the food hot, I've realized how amazing some cooks are, especially my grandmother who always created the best food and atmosphere.
I like putting out dishes of dried fruits (apricots, dates) and nuts (pepitas, almonds, sunflower seeds) around my apartment for guests to munch on. But mostly it's just me that eats them all. It reminds me of when my great-grandma had a crystal dish of tootsie rolls for all the great-grandkids.
Also, one time I made a rhubarb strawberry crisp to bring to my grandpa's. As I was getting ready for the 2 hour drive there, I left the crisp on top of my car. For about a half hour people driving around me kept honking and pointing at me. Finally, when I was on the highway, I figured out why. Just as I was pulling over to get it, it slid off my car and got run over by a semi.
Once when I was in about 4th grade, I cooked a frozen pizza with the cardboard. :/I have also had blenders explode all over me and the kitchen I was in. Some of the most vivid memories I have happen to be how the food that my grandparents made tasted. For my grandma, it was her pancakes and spaghetti. Later, I was told her secret recipe with the spaghetti sauce was brown sugar. The other was anything I ate at my grandpa's house. When my grandma t was still alive, she would make about 1238547293 cookies for Easter and Christmas. All different kinds, homemade icing, red hots for eyes....these were the best cookies I've ever eaten. Ever.My grandpa t always cooked frozen veggies on the stove. I would eat my weight in fresh salami, and I loved the way he would BBQ. Plus, when I became a vegetarian (I was 13) he was the only relative that made an effort to buy and cook food I could eat. He was the absolute best.
I think food was a big lesson for me in one instance as a child learning about cultural differences. I had never been taught to tie any meaning to food other than what it tasted like. One year, a family member sponsored two muslim women from Bosnia and their infant daughters to come live with her so that the children could get a life-saving surgery. Neither of them ate pork. It was probably one of the first times I'd heard of Islam, and I might not have at that time had it not been for her food choice and the conversations it started. One of the women cooked Baklava for everyone another day. It was unlike any dessert I'd ever had, and I found it so gross (what is this thing not smothered in icing!!) and dramatically ran around choking and spit it out with my brother. I realize now, this is totally offensive, but we were kids and she thought it was hilarious because our typical desserts here are so different. We couldn't speak the same language, but it was a moment of a lot of laughter, she told the translator one of her kids once did the same thing. There's my long-winded food story.