When we think about why we love food is it a love from our sense of taste? The way the different flavors hit your tongue and please your palate is a sensation we can only get from food. After all, a kiss can bring that warm, fuzzy feeling, so maybe there is a similar correlation to food.
But aside from the taste of food, it brings people together. Aside from sleeping, it is the only other thing every person has to do to survive, therefore a good excuse to get together.
Or maybe it is the memories that certain foods or meals bring to you. Who doesn’t hear the word Thanksgiving and think to a cozy kitchen filled with the aromas of roasting turkey and smiling family.
Honestly though, cooking and preparing your food brings a whole new realm to eating. A knowledge about anything will help you appreciate it a whole lot more.
The reason I started cooking in about the 8th (i think ?) grade was because I was getting so tired of asking my parents to make something different. Now, while my parents focused on feeding me healthy things most of the time; but with after school practices and activities the trips to fast food places and meals in a bag became more common. I rememeber asking,
“Just MAKE something!” (in that teenage voice)
“Well what do you want?” (the worst possible answer)
“I don’t know!”
Well after a few months of this, I began to search through the old wooden cabinet in our kitchen where old church cookbooks were stored. Those things contained the usual things- lots of casseroles loaded with mayonaise, cakes gallore and about 40 different recipes for potato salad. Getting to the entrees, I would find some and realize our pantry was not well stocked. But finally. The first solo recipe I made was… a quiche.
Now I have always liked eggs, but I had never ever had a quiche before. I picked this recipe because, after sitting on the floor for 30 minutes and finding nothing I could make with a bare amount of ingredients, I finally found one and didn’t really care what it was.
Now up to this point, my daily routine consisted of cereal for breakfast (with a sometimes switch up of pb toast or an egg over easy), school lunch (that’s a whole different topic), and dinner usually out or quickly made my the parents- stir fry, sausage and potatoes, chicken noodle soup, grilled steaks & porkchops, spaghetti & meatballs, tacos and meals from a bag were popular. Now they always made sure vegetables and fruit were there too. Up until this point my milk of choice was 2% as well.
I never prepared any of the vegetables or fruits, except for apples since we got a sweet apple slicer, so the thought of cutting up them terrified me. I watched my mom use the, hold the pear in one hand and cut it with your other. Yikes. And then our knives had all seen their better days and weren’t sharp.
Anyways. Whipping up some eggs, cheese and whatever else was in that quiche was easy enough and it turned out pretty decent. I religiously measured everything and stood by the oven to take it out promptly when the timer went off.
After we ate my creation, I asked my parents what they thought of it. And to this day, 8 years later, I still do. It was hard starting out because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. But constructive criticism is very helpful (if done right).
I remember my first time I “experimented” with a recipe and it’s a wonder I continued to do so after this. I was making something with chicken I think (my mind tries to block this) and wanted to make it pineappley. So I saw some sour cream and some random spices and mixed it all together. G A G. it was horrible. and I cried. But I kept pushing on.
Now, I rarely, if ever, follow a recipe verbatim. I can cut up vegetables without fear and use recipes more as inspiration rather than a strict list.
I made some tomato fennel soup yesterday. Soups really do take on more flavor the longer they sit. I also broke down and bought some laughing cow cheese to go with it. I really wanted some homemade bread to go with it.
I have learned so much about foods. Foods I never know existed. Fennel being one of them. I also discovered, just yesterday, a new love for radishes. Just a touch of oil, some heat and pepper totally changes them. Just like food has changed me, yes I will end on a cheesy note.