cook·ing [koo k-ing] noun
1. the act of a person or thing that cooks.
2. the art or practice of preparing food; cookery.
Cooking was the one thing my mother would never let me do, alone, with her, it just wasn’t done. My parents divorced when I was about 5 years old. My mother started her second job and I started going to my baby sitter. Next on the list was being home alone until I was old enough to drive. My mom would stock up the fridge of everything in the world that I could microwave and eat for dinner. It wasn’t until I was at least 12 that I learned how to scramble eggs. Sad right? I know.
I was never allowed to cook unless my mother was home, which didn’t happen very often. And when she was home, she was too tired to stay up and teach me, so we ordered Chinese. It wasn’t until my first year home from college when I moved in with my dad that he suggested that I learned how to cook for myself because eating out is so expensive. His motivator was, “In order to keep a man, you have to know how to feed him.” Of course I didn’t take him seriously because I will be making enough billions to hire my own chef. I have big dreams.
But of course I never internalized how cooking for myself would really impact me as an individual. So I tried it. To start off small, I cooked breakfast: sausage, bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls, all under the guidance of my dear father and it was a piece of cake. My best friend taught me how to make her famous spaghetti. Then my stepmother wanted me to make brownies. I was swamped! Is this what a housewife feels like?! The difference of course is that she wants to do this and I’m forced.
The definition of cooking is “the art or practice of preparing food”, which is what I lacked. I was denied the practice and I had no prior knowledge to this “art or preparing”. So to solve this problem, I decided to tune out the ideas of others and discover what I really wanted to know. I wanted to know how to do something for myself that would benefit my well-being. With this decision I decided to explore the things I knew how to make and how they made me feel afterwards. Brownies, banana nut cake, spaghetti, baked chicken, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snack. I came to a point where I made too much food for my household to eat.
I found the picture above on “The Journal of a Girl who Loves to Cook” and it put into a perfect perspective of the way I feel about cooking. I wasn’t trying to become the next best baker or chef; I just wanted to do something that I could feel good about. Once I made my experience about me and stopped thinking of the success/failure rate and just did it, I was able to live in the moment. So try something today for you, whether it is cooking, baking, yoga, rock climbing or salsa dancing. But remember to “love what you do, put your heart into and you will be rewarded.”