Cooking for most people is just a necessity of life, a way to feed yourself and to make sure that you don’t perish alone in your apartment from starvation or malnourishment. For others it’s a way to connect to the people around them. The example of a Sunday dinner is fitting to this vein of cooking, because people in a family come together and put their best foot forward when cooking for others. And, if done right, you can taste the love in every bite (unless you’re eating your auntie’s famous green beans, and she’s notorious for using too much salt!). However, oddly enough, cooking is a form of leisure, a way to disconnect from the stressful grind of everyday living. Now, it may not seem to be all that relaxing, with the chopping and measuring, the onions and the bacon grease spatters that always hit you on your skin and not on any clothed or protected part of your body, but trust me when I say that it is relaxing!
These are the reasons why I cook. I don’t have the story of most (home) chefs and caterers, who cooked alongside their parents or grandparents. I didn’t grow up in the kitchen at all, but I was fortunate to grow up around great cooks. And anytime I tried to assist my Mom in the kitchen she would always tell me no and that she had everything under control. So, I didn’t start cooking until I moved into my first apartment when I was about 23 or 24. I started out by cooking dishes that were familiar to me, and I would often ask my Mom for the recipes, to which she would always say, “Girl I don’t know! I don’t use recipes!” She may give me an approximate of this ingredient or that, but the rest was up to me. Eventually I got into a groove, going off of the tastes that I was familiar with, mixed with the approximations of Mom and reading recipes that I would find online when I had access to a computer. From there I started to create my own versions of these foods. And thus, I learned how to cook.
At first I just cooked for myself. Eventually a friend or two would randomly stop by during a meal time and I would offer to them some of what I cooked. If they liked it, they told other mutual friends. After a while I was being asked to cook at impromptu gatherings and holidays, all with the promise to “help out” by the people who would only help me by cheering me on from the living room while I put on an apron and work like Geoffrey or Benson, or Mr. Belvedere! I complained, but only jokingly. The truth was that I loved the fact that people enjoyed my cooking more than I disliked being promised assistance by those who were just giving lip service.
Now, at this point in my life, I absolutely love to cook! When my body is able to physically handle it, you can then find me in the kitchen, cooking dishes that are my take on what I grew up with, trying out new found recipes, and creating my own concoctions and trying them out on my loved ones (Yeah, that’s right! Y’all were eating experimental foods and you didn’t even know it because it was so good!) Food is a way to feed myself and others nutritious and delicious dishes that are beneficial to the body. It is also a love language for me. So, if I’ve ever offered to cook for you it’s because you are special to me.
Finally, cooking is relaxing to me. There’s nothing better than tuning out the world while I chop and sauté, and then cap my relaxation off with a plate of Spaghetti Carbonara and a crusty piece of bread with a personally blended compound butter (my absolute favorite go-to pasta dishes when cooking for myself).
On this blog, there will be posts about food and related topics. Tips, hints, stories behind a dish, and even the occasional recipe will be posted. Prayerfully this will inspire you to get into the kitchen and cook something amazing! So, until then…
Be Blessed (and stay tuned) in Jesus’ Name!