I don’t have a recipe today. I have been spreading myself pretty thin this week. I mentioned that my mother passed away (it will be three weeks tomorrow), and her memorial service is this weekend. Between preparing for that, my normal activities (work, etc) I didn’t have time to get anything together for today. But no one is interested in excuses.
Insted of a recipe, I thought I would write a little about why I love to cook. Or, acutally, why I began to love to cook. I love to cook because combining ingredients and preparing them into something delicious is truly satisfying. I like making people happy through food, and in turn, making myself happy.
But I began to love cooking at an early age. I remember being very young and watching television with my mom. Way before the Food Network, she would watch cooking shows. I remember watching them with her, and loving to see the chefs with all their personalities cooking and making fantastic dishes! She would scribble down recipes as the chefs called out the ingredients (remember, this was before the internet was so readily available for us to go and look up any recipe we were interested in!).
Our favorites were Julia Child (of course!), The Frugal Gourmet, Yan Can Cook (if Yan can cook, so can you!), Cajun Cooking (I gawr-an-tee!), and Two Fat Ladies.
These shows (and my mom) were my teachers for learning the basic skills and techniques involved in cooking. I remember the first time I made Chicken Parmesan (when I was in college), I just knew how to do it. I didn’t follow a recipe, I just kind of made it up as I went along. But I knew how to bread chicken from seeing the technique so many times. I knew what ingredients were involved.
My mom would make us dinner every night growing up, and we would eat sitting at the kitchen table. Sure, sometimes it was heated up chicken nuggets and Kraft macaroni and cheese, but there was always a meal on the table that we would eat as a family. Looking back, I really appreciate that she took the time to do this and make it an important thing. I didn’t really cook much with my mom, but we did bake together. I speficically remember making peanut butter cookies and talking to her about the criss-cross fork marks that go on top.
Cooking and baking makes memories. Whether watching it on TV or participating in the kitchen, I have great memories of food and cooking. And that is why I love it.
Why do you love to cook?