Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thoughts on Cooking

 source photo

Growing up my dad was the one who prepared the meals.  My mom is a nurse and when we were little she worked a lot of night shifts and it fell to my dad to feed us kids.  He did a good job but mostly I can recall pretty basic meals.  I don't think anyone ever taught my mom to cook like some families do, I think my dad was taught a little bit by his mom...but that teaching how to cook was not passed on to me.  I didn't care, I had no interest really in cooking until college.

As I've mentioned before I was an art major being raked over the coals for not being "good enough" so I turned my creative forces in a different direction.  I started to learn to cook.  How wonderful cooking is for creativity!  What is similar about cooking and making art is that you take a little bit of knowledge and then you essentially take a leap of faith that your knowledge as skill will be there.  It's exciting sometimes when I am drawing I am making decisions with my hands as I am moving them, something unplanned is always happening, it's a thrilling feeling.  Freedom! 

When you draw for example, you need to have knowledge about how to go about carving an image into or out of the paper.  Part of this is natural skill and part of it is watching teachers and learning how they go about it and trying to do the same.  I would describe this knowledge as pretty vague, hard to put into words probably because it stems from the right (non-verbal) side of the brain.  In cooking you need to have knowledge of what flavors go together along with technique.  I learned all this through the miracle of the Food Network. I soaked up everything I could, the new revelation about putting salt in the water you plan to boil your pasta simple but I knew nothing!

For the past few months I have committed to making every dinner at home.  That means meal planning and everything!  Not letting ourselves go out is forcing me to grow as a home cook.  And the joy and the thrill I got from art is coming out full force.  Last night I just winged a meal purely from a picture I saw, crossing my fingers that all the flavors would come together, with out any instruction, and it did and it felt awesome!

The best part of this whole thing is that my son is always around when I am cooking.  And even though he's only 2 he loves to help, smell everything and put things in the pan.  I love that I'll have something to pass on to him.  What a gift something like cooking can be!


  1. I have to say I was shocked when you said you didn't know to put salt in pasta water! It's wonderful you are learning and passing that on to C. He will grow up with great memories of that time together. Also, I recently signed up for ecipes, pull recipes from sites and create a meal plan for weeks or months, then it populates a grocery list for it! You can get through my referred link on my blog :)

  2. *You input recipes (part of that got cutoff)