“Oh I love to cook. It makes me feel so mindless in a worthwhile way.”
– Truman Capote
It has only been a few years since I started to cook or at least started to cook regularly. I am unsure of my original motivation. It might have been boredom, the fact that I am always broke, a desire to reject the traditional food system, lost tolerance for the garbage sold in grocery stores or that I have become jaded by my studies on food production. Truth be told, each of those factors likely contributed to my decision to cook most things from scratch.
“Until I discovered cooking, I was never really interested in anything.”
– Julia Child
However, what I have found is that I really love to cook. It makes me feel better. It is an outlet for my frustrations, a way to express my love and a means to show the world that I have a talent. I love when other people enjoy (or are impressed by) food that I have prepared. It gives me a sober high, something that (for me) is often difficult to come by. And like any other junkie, I am always trying to recreate that first feeling. Luckily, cooking is not like taking drugs and as time goes by I am actually able to improve my skills with time and practice.
To date, I have “mastered” biscuits, burger buns, pierogie dough, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, pancakes (zucchini, potato and “normal”), chicken noodle and Minestrone soup, and banana bread. I also make a pretty mean meatball.
However, the perfect meatball needs a perfect tomato sauce and that is something that I am still searching for. In fact, there are quite a few things that I am missing and I have decided that I in the next six months I will learn to make these things (and well). Here is my list:
Tomato sauce, meat sauce (Bolognese), sausage (breakfast and Italian, without casings), falafel, cinnamon rolls, potato chips, chocolate and vanilla cake, pot pie, egg rolls, veggie burgers, wontons, whole wheat rolls, re-fried beans, tortillas (corn and flour), ravioli, and a proper omelette.
And yes, my goal(s) are motivated by my impending birthday, my lack of direction throughout the past year, my need to do SOMETHING right, and my strong belief that the way to the heart is through the stomach. So, that is my plan and I am going to stick to it. By the 5th of May I will master these 20 recipes and hopefully more! Hopefully, along the way I learn how to take really good food pictures, too!
“Calvin: Why are you crying mom?
Mom: I’m cutting up an onion.
Calvin: It must be hard to cook when you anthropomorphize your vegetables.”
– Calvin and Hobbes