Cooking calms me. When it is not perceived as a task it then becomes rather pleasurable.
Growing up, all things associated with the kitchen were chores. The worst of these being the dishes. Even if there were two mugs, a few plates and spoons, squeezing diswashing liquid into the sink pained you. Dish washing was so horrendous a task you would ration it into three (3) parts. “I wash, you dry”, and drag someone else into the kitchen to pack them away. Our parents must have looked on in horror at a growing generation who found defeat in stroking pieces of porcelain with a dish cloth! How could possibly handle a giant piece of metal with four wheels attached to it some day?
In our home, cooking was a skill that one had to grasp by the age of eight (8), latest nine (9). My sister and I would alternate all week, and fight each friday when it was time to prepare for the Sabbath. We’d each list what we had supposedly prepared the friday before, adding all sorts of fantastical dishes to the list in an attempt to make our toils seem so heavy, that it would be gravely unfair to be made to do it again. This must be the reason I have issues with odd numbers.
We have not yet established all the problems of this here dynamic. Here is what I feel was the nail to the culinary coffin. My mom has been a vegetarian for about 25 or so years. At some points in her journey she adopted a vegan diet. My father however, was the extreme opposite, and enjoyed his meat product. This left is children with a constant swing vote which was mostly driven by craving, but at times by what my mom chose to include on the grocery list.
I have no issues with a varied diet, none at all. My problem was that both parties expected a well balanced meal each evening, which left you cooking double the ordinarily required amount. So you would spend 20 minutes staring at two different pots of rice, for one evening’s sitting. Daunting does not begin to describe it.
I needed an out so I found on in pasta. No one knew that whole wheat pasta existed at that point so the starch option was standard to all. Id create the same base and in the other pot substitute the vegetarian option with soy mince. This worked of course until my family realized that, that is all I ever prepared!
I did explore in the kitchen, just as to know how far my skills did stretch, but my attitude towards cooking was tainted. Until recently…
My husband has always known that I can cook and bake. But, this was a basic chore, and these were mediocre meals until I learned what cooking means to me.
I consider myself a ‘foodie’. I enjoy good food, I am knowledgeable about food and I have a relatively strong pallet. (Will blog about super tasters soon). Being able to add the preparation of good food to this list pleases me. I now cook and bake because I enjoy it. Immensely! I won’t deny the moments where the aim was simply to impress my husband lest he forget that he married a winner hahaha.
Below is a display of desserts I prepared recently. A pumkin pie and an apple crumble. The recipes are not my own so I will not share them. This is simply testament that I have discovered the beauty in food and art in cooking. Despite the trauma of soy products.