My love of cooking and baking
When Mike and I got married I really had no experience cooking. I had lived with my parents up until I got married at the age of 25 so my mom had always cooked, and I never helped. So at first it was a lot of eating out and I don’t even know what. Our apartment kitchen was so small you couldn’t open the oven completely because the fridge was in the way.
Once we found out I was pregnant we moved into a townhouse style condo with a much bigger kitchen! I made a lot of things my mom had always made, casseroles. Mike ate them and didn’t complain too much but he was use to other foods. He grew up with his family making chinese meals and other crazy things. And when I say crazy I mean things that I would have never eaten! So he wanted flavor all the time, nothing had enough seasoning to him. After my first two boys were born I had a strong desire to stay home, I so didn’t want to work anymore. So finally I left my job and stayed home with the boys for 18 months, it was rough but it was worth it. During that time I found the Food Network and my eyes were opened.
For me watching people chop, dice and throwing things in a pan was like poetry in motion. I was mesmerized by their hands and fingers, to this day I still am. I watch intently when they show close-ups of people chopping things, I think I am a bit weird about it but it makes me want to cook. Rachel Ray really got me first into trying new things, like using lots of fresh garlic in things. Since I was home all the time I had time to plan out different meals, experiment and have fun with food. I think I went out and bought 3 of her cookbooks right away. We won’t discuss my cookbook fetish as it is now…..
I have always loved to bake, I think there is a baking gene that my mom and I have. It had to have been passed down by my grandma who still to this day makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world! I don’t know how she does it as we all try the same recipe and they never taste the same! So buttery, light and melt in your mouth goodness! But now I was impressing my husband with meals, new exciting meals. And that is when I realized I liked to cook and bake to make others happy. Sure I enjoy the process a lot of times but I really enjoy someone else eating it and liking it. When I bake I don’t eat a lot of what I make, I don’t know why but it’s another thing my mom and I have in common.
Sometimes I say I am a lucky cook/baker because I don’t follow things to a T. If it calls for 1 cup of flour I don’t measure it precisely, calls for 1 tsp vanilla… well EVERYTHING can use more vanilla! I am sure some of my methods would create panic in others if they watched me. But I also think that is the fun in it.
Since going back to work full-time and have 2 more kids things get crazy, and I may not have all the time I would like to cooking new things but I try. We eat a lot of late meals because of this sometimes, but again it’s that need to please everyone and keep surprising them with new things. Of course I have my old fall backs and even Mike has come to love them as they are.
So that is a little about me and my love of cooking/baking. What about you? I don’t think everyone needs to learn to cook, because when cooking becomes a chore you hate it’s no fun. Yes we all have to eat but there is always sandwiches!