The (not quite) Joy of Cooking

I just love food. For better or for worse, I have never been someone who is disinterested in eating.

But my various misadventures in the kitchen sometimes leave me feeling glum and kind of deterred. Whenever the subject of cooking comes up if we’re having dinner with a couple or family, I feel like I grill (pun intended) whoever the respective chef is in the family about what they like to make, what recipes are good, and how they learned to cook. Especially how they learned to cook.

Often I’ll hear from friends, “Oh yeah, I didn’t know how to cook until I got married,” and then the story turns into something about how they became fantastic and can whip up souffles upside down because they watched the Food Network or something like that. Well, I’ve been married for about 6 years now, and I watch the Food Network whenever I go to the dentist, and I have to say that I still struggle in the kitchen department.

I think that I get intimidated by recipes, or I choose things that are too ambitious for a beginner. I love when a cookbook explains what a cooking term means, like “glazing” or “blanch” because it takes me twice the amount of time to walk back and forth between the kitchen and my computer to google all of the directions.

So…since I became a mom, and since I’ve been at home, I’ve thrown myself into this pursuit because we love to have people over (don’t worry, I do have a few go-recipes for company – I don’t tend to expose my experiments on my friends…yet). Over the days and weeks I’ve been home, I try new recipes and give them to Tony (my lovable lab rat). Sometimes it goes over well, and then there are days like tonight when he comes home and looks in the bowl and says, “That looks disgusting.”

In all fairness maybe it did look weird.

So, all in all, I’m still determined. Despite trying to substitute baking soda for baking powder (and figuring out that doesn’t work at all), using Tony’s stomach as my kitchen experiments melting pot, and figuring out the hard way that you sometimes really do need to read all of the directions in a recipe, I have faith that one day I might by the culinary wonder that I seek to be in the kitchen. Until that day, I’m thankful for wine (to give my husband when all else fails), and the grace of friends and family who have, and will likely, continue to endure my attempts to better my inner domestic goddess.

If you have any inspiring stories about how you learned to cook, please lift my spirits and brighten my day by leaving them here.