SWEET & EASY FOOD
I am Ralitsa Simeonova – musician with a masters degree from the National Conservatory of Sofia, Bulgaria. Over the past 23 years I have worked and lived in 5 countries – Bulgaria, Mexico, USA, Germany and Switzerland. My life, until this point would be more suitable for a novel, but instead I’m writing a cook book. Who could have predicted it. Life is funny, bizarre, enchanting.
Cooking has always been a big part of who I am. My mother successfully planted a little seed, that grew into an a curiosity and interest about everything that happens in the kitchen. Formerly trained as a chef she had the answers to everything. One of my first memories was watching her cook in our tiny little kitchen. She never had a big or state of the art kitchen, but somehow her working place was always meticulously clean, no matter how many people she was feeding or how many meals she was preparing. Back in the days of my happy childhood I was mesmerised more by the cooking process than of the tasting and eating part. This probably made my mom even more creative and experimental in her desperate intent to feed her never hungry child.
Years later when my mom came to help me with my newborn baby in Mexico and afterward in Texas, she always used to ask me what I wanted her to cook , my answer never changed: «Surprise me!». And ooh how she did. From putting thinly sliced pieces of lemon in my sandwiches for work to kneading, by hand, the most elaborate special breads (which in Bulgaria we call pitka).
My very first attempt to do something in the kitchen happened when my parents left me alone for the weekend. I remember that I baked a simple cake and covered it generously with powdered sugar. The next time, with the self esteem of an already experienced baker, I went further with a 3 layer cake that was called «Flames» with 10 eggs, tons of butter and who knows what else. But the «Flames» part was the most interesting thing – a thin stream of caramelised sugar mixed into the beaten egg white foam. If I had known how dangerous it was to do this, I probably wouldn’t have done it, but hey – sacred dumbness of a 13 year old beginner enthusiast. Fortunately – the outcome of the whole experience was 100% successful. My parents were talking about that cake for a long time, praising my skills, but joking that they will go bankrupt if I continue to use so many ingredients for my masterpieces. ☺