Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe for the Joy of Cooking

I grew up in a family of chefs and have my reasons for why I didn’t really like to be in the kitchen with them, mainly because they knew how to do EVERYTHING and when they would try and teach me it felt more like a nuisance, then passing on the joy they felt when they created a meal. They may differ in their opinions, but growing up this is how I perceived it.

I left for college and really lived by the college cookbook, cafeteria and microwavable meals (so sad I know). Then I moved into an apartment with five other girls and getting to the kitchen and having the space to create anything let alone healthy was a bit of a marathon. Then came moving to a foreign country where cooking became more of an experiment; as you might imagine. All the measurements were different and the ingredients were quite a bit different; so once I moved back to the states it was as though I had never stepped into a kitchen, still by the time I came back I was a bit more inspired to be in there in the first place because I had done so much more cooking while living in New Zealand.

I began making things from scratch, because that had been my norm in New Zealand versus here where you can buy practically ANYTHING ready made. I kept up on my shepherd’s pie skills, started baking more (which my roommate at the time loved), and I even cooked Salmon for the first time! In this time I found a bit more inspiration and creativity in cooking, but then I moved twice within a period of 7 months and I am not quite sure where that time went. Then I moved in with another chef (and dear friend) of sorts and all the feelings of being a nuisance in the kitchen came back. I made my fair share of things and baked quite a bit, but nothing like the past two years.

Then I got married to a chef (what are the odds!), Graeme is exceptional in the kitchen and for the first six months of our marriage cooking was really his thing (since he wasn’t working yet), so I stayed away and the time when I did get in there, I felt like I was trespassing into territory that wasn’t mine. Since he has started working we go back and forth on the cooking duties and with this comes learning how to communicate with one another while in the kitchen. He is patient with me and encourages me to be creative and actually find joy in it (like he does). I am learning how to take constructive criticism and also realizing I am not a nuisance.

We have been cooking quite a bit more together and when I see this most play out is when we both want to try something new, so we pull out one of our many cookbooks (as seen below), tag a recipe, and make a go of it. We took a few short cuts with this latest meal, but he was gracious, encouraged me for what we should do next time with the recipe, and then gulped it down telling me how delicious it was even if it wasn’t exactly as the recipe describe. 

Patience + Words of Love = A creative kitchen with some tasty meals; I have discovered this is my recipe for finding joy in cooking.


hannabaorange said...

A fan of Rachael Ray I see! :D I bought mum the Rachael Ray EVOO dispenser bottle for Xmas... all the way from USA :D You need an Edmonds cookbook (standard Kiwi household item!) ... It's really good! :)

.heidi.noelle. said...

We actually have one! It just didn't make the cut in the photo, but it is one of my favorites! :)

judith said...

We have school cooking classes and patience of graeme's grandma in the kitchen and putting up with the creative messes while he was learning his skills. I miss his cooking input at home.