Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I love to cook, which is strange considering I hated it when I was young. Over the last decade my mom has said on more than one occasion, "you know, for a kid who hated to cook you sure have turned into a darn good one." I don't know why I didn't catch the cooking bug when I was young. I liked to do breakfasts and still do. I make a mean omelet and french toast, but beyond that I had absolutely no interest in the kitchen except to eat from it.
My little brother on the other hand took to it from the very beginning. He could flip the pancakes without a spatula and cooked Chinese food for my dates several times. It took being a missionary to finally find the joy in cooking for me.
See, I was craving something sweet and had run out of money. There was nothing in the house but stuff to bake with. I had no idea what to do with it, and there was no cookbook to be found, so I winged it. I grabbed some cocoa powder, flour, sugar and a bunch of other random ingredients, threw them together, tasted, and adjusted it before finally tossing it in the oven. Was it a contest winning recipe? Oh, heavens no . . . but it was edible and that was all I needed to satisfy the chocolate bug.
What I discovered was that cooking the traditional way bored me. Following recipes and cooking so that things tasted the same way every time I made them held no interest, but once I found a way to cook creatively, I was hooked. I have adapted over the years so that I can use a recipe now and then . . . but I never cook it exactly the way it says to. I always find some way to spice it up. A dash of curry or garlic can do amazing things to food.
Cooking is just another creative adventure in my eyes, just one more way I can express myself and share it, if not with the world then at least the neighbors.