My Relationship with Cooking

I used to be proud of the fact that I couldn’t cook. Somehow along the line, I determined that if you were a woman that couldn’t cook, it meant that you didn’t have time to learn. It meant that you were a breadwinner and couldn’t be bothered to be a bread maker. I associated cooking with restricting oneself to the ways of the past.

Now that I am the wise old age of 25, I know a little more than I did back then. I know that you can be both a breadwinner and a bread maker. I know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to be a homemaker. It’s all about choice. What I didn’t like about the idea of being a homemaker was that it made me feel that a woman was forced to stay home. As long as there is a choice, then I’m chill with someone choosing to work in the home.

So maybe it was that realization, or more likely and less profoundly, it was the fact that I was too broke to eat out every night, but as a senior in college it started to bother me that I couldn’t cook anything more complicated than mac ‘n cheese. So how did I learn to cook?

Let me be straight up about how bad of a cook I was at the time. I ate most meals I “made” from the microwave, and I don’t even think I owned a measuring cup. Until senior year, my flatware consisted of Plate and Bowl. I called them by their formal names. Whenever I tried to bake, something disastrous happened. Once I even blew up our oven, because I put a plastic pan in it. The pan literally exploded, the oven tried to explode, the metal all puffed out, and there was a small fire. So you could say I was starting from point zero.

When I decided to buckle down and learn to cook, I convinced Kelley to join me on my adventure. Every Thursday night during our senior year, we would meet in my kitchen and try out a new recipe. Normally it was something simple enough involving a combination of shrimp and vegetables. Though we didn’t do anything crazy that year, I began to feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

It wasn’t until I started dating Chris that I really learned to experiment with various recipes. Chris loves cooking and at one point considered going to culinary school. Cooking and trying out new types of cuisines became a big part of our relationship. That first year we were dating, date night cooking would be a whole night affair. When we moved in together last year, cooking became more of a put-the-food-on-the-plate kind of thing. I was able to make meals fast, but I wasn’t able to make them very healthy.

That’s where I was this September. I could cook pretty well, but most of the things I knew and loved to make weren’t good for me. So I started over. I restocked my pantry with healthier cooking products. I read up recipes on blogs. I took chances on some products I was afraid to try, and recipes that looked complicated. I admit that I still often don’t know what I’m doing.

Now I sometimes make awesome meals. Sometimes I make some horrible concoctions. But I am doing something I never thought I could or should do. I am cooking.

Last night, I was given one of the best compliments ever.

Your becoming a great cook. Chris told me.

So to all you that say you can’t cook, you can. Just don’t put plastic in the oven and you’ll be good to go.

4 responses to “My Relationship with Cooking

  1. I just came across your blog when browsing through the tags and really related to it. My blog is very similar with the idea of reaching my mid twenties, being career driven, and then moving in with a guy and realizing my cooking skills are very limited! I always try to stay on the healthy side of recipes or if they’re not making them more healthy and still taste good. I look forward to reading more of your posts and trying some of your recipes!

  2. Awww that’s so sweet!

    The best thing about cooking is that you don’t really have to know what you’re doing. Some of the best meals that I’ve made have been totally experimental. That’s why baking isn’t really my thing..

  3. That’s exactly why I am a better cook than baker! Though I am trying to become a better baker.

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