My love affair with ratatouille dates back to my junior year in college. My roommate, Becki, then a graduating senior, prepared it for her parents the weekend that they came up to Ithaca for her graduation. Becki invited me to join them for the feast she had prepared and I never forgot the rich, sort-of-sweet taste of those stewed vegetables.
My mother, a world-class cook, had been making ratatouille regularly for years, but it wasn't until that moment with Becki that I really appreciated how delicious it was. Becki had gone to one of the libraries on campus and borrowed a cookbook. Who knows who the author of the cookbook was? It was so long ago. Only the memory of the taste remains.