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More on cooking

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yes, I know I talk A LOT about this. But I've realized only recently what a huge part of my soul cooking occupies. I can remember trying the recipes on the cans and boxes of processed foods we had when I was a kid and being very proud of it.

I spent many years among people who not only didn't like my food, they actually didn't want me to cook. I once made fresh biscuit shortcakes for strawberries, and my in-laws said, "Why? They sell shortcakes at the grocery store." (They were basically Twinkies without the cream. If I wanted to eat my fruit on a kitchen sponge, I would have done it.) I spent quite a few years living among people who said they wanted me to do the cooking, then perched on my shoulder like demented parrots and said, "No, not that way! Do it this way!" My last roommate wouldn't even taste anything I cooked. No reason, she just wouldn't.

If being a chef had been a viable career option for women when I left high school, I would have liked to pursue it. However, it wasn't, and since I had just come out of a violently abusive home situation, I probably didn't have the emotional strength for its demands. I was also intimidated by my father's demands that "trade school" wasn't good enough and only academia would do. I washed out of college miserably.

I've realized recently that I have a very insidious thought. Particularly on Friday night, I'm prone to think, "it's been a brutal week and I deserve a treat. Let's head for the drive-through." The words "treat" and "drive-through" do not belong in the same book, let alone the same sentence. An overcooked burger? Faux potatoes cooked in God-knows-what? So NOT a treat, and I need to lose the impulse to think of it that way. Also, a cookbook I just read referred to fast food as "the devil's work." I totally agree.

I think I'm going to make a point of having eggs, cheese and cooked veggies in the house so I can bang together a quick frittata for supper. I love them and they're super-easy to make. I can also have cooked chicken and such on hand to make a quick salad or sandwich.

I recently read that the popularity of cooking competitions on TV has scared regular folks out of trying to cook. For me it has the opposite effect -- I actually play along with Chopped and Iron Chef America. I want to cook, NEED to cook. Creativity and artistry matter so much to me. This is my favorite expression of it, along with my knitting.

I apologize if I talk too much about this. But it just matters so much to me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Cooking is your passion. It is a part of your soul. Embrace it. Not everyone, like me, has that talent.
    1575 days ago
  • LIS193
    I love frittatas - I call them crustless quiches :) (see my blog!)
    1576 days ago
    I found that I like to cook. Actually when I am tired cooking is something I like to do. I was postponing my exploration of cooking until I got a bigger kitchen but that's been 15 years now so my attitude is you gotta Julia child it in this narrow kitchen with a under capacity fridge. So throughout life I believe we hope for better but at some point you gotta draw the line and say I'm gonna live.

    Cook on
    1576 days ago
    My youth was not too different: women just didn't cook outside the home, but we all cooked at home. There weren't that many prepared options back in the 50s and 60s, but home cooking included bacon fat (Julia's favorite) and butter and cream, though portion sizes were a lot smaller. I wanted to be a nurse, but Mom forbid it, said she wouldn't help pay for anything but a college degree in a science. Nutrition was part of the Home Economics programs back then, so she said absolutely NO. My family (except my husband who still wants bacon and grease) loves my cooking. There are people who are creative with paint or fabric (I don't understand the attraction of quilting) or wood, and creativity with food just isn't all that different. And I can EAT the product even if I can't wear it.
    1576 days ago
    I think like you when it comes to cooking and the joy it brings. The first time I saw "Julie and Julie" I wanted to cook through and entire cookbook. I saw it with my sister who hated every bit of the movie and would never dream of cooking through a cookbook. Something is wrong with that girl.
    1576 days ago
    Thank goodness you are in the PRESENT! You can cook what you want, how you want, when you want!

    You have so much cooking talent! Don't sell yourself short.

    1576 days ago
    really enjoy your blogs & the ideas thanks
    1576 days ago
  • GRAMMY7070
    You can talk anytime on cooking. I also love to cook and I read cookbooks like some people read novels. Always looking for good, healthy new recipes to try. Love your dinner party menu.
    1576 days ago
    There is no need to apologize for talking about something that you obviously love. As you say, it is a part of your artistic expression, a way for you to feed your soul, both literally and figuratively. I love reading about your cooking experiments, especially since they always seem to turn out so beautifully!
    1577 days ago
    Okay, we usually have a Friday night frozen pizza night. I also do pasta once a week with the store bought pasta sauce, but sometimes with frozen store bought meatballs, sometimes some chicken breasts, sometimes with ground beef, onions and lemon juice added to the sauce. I like having a few days a week where I know what I am making and it is easy. Those are usually my busier days. Other days I do more from scratch cooking.
    1577 days ago
    I love hearing about your cooking ideas and fun. Keep blogging about them.
    1577 days ago
    I can relate to the Friday, wiped out, not cooking, but I have started going by the grocery store and opting for a rotisserie chicken. Of course it helps that on the island where I live we have no drive through or fast food. If I want fast food I would have to take a small plane 15 minutes to the mainland and then a cab ride or an hour ferry ride and then a 15 minute drive. I guess I live in a spark friendly environment. Just wanted to let you know I got the John Besh's Family Table based upon your recommendation. It looks great.
    1577 days ago
    Keep on talking about cooking and I will keep on reading your blogs because there aren't many bloggers who can make you feel the growl of the mixer when making bread like you did. Your telling of the valiant mixer that finally got put to use was special. emoticon
    1577 days ago
    You talk, and we will LISTEN. You are very much VALUED and APPRECIATED for your cooking skill and knowledge. Hon, I can barely boil an egg and have it turn out right. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO ENVIOUS of YOU! So what if the people in your past did not offer you any encouragement and support to further your career in cooking. That was the PAST. Now, you keep our 'mouths watering' with all of the FANTASTIC meals and dishes that you cook and serve. Please continue to cook and share your ideas and thoughts with us. We WANT to hear about it from you!

    1577 days ago
    1577 days ago
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