Cooking and baking are as old as time and boy has it come a long way! I am looking forward to sharing my adventures (yes, there are adventures in my kitchen) as well as my love for cooking and baking. Like most people, I am not technically a Chef – but I am The Chef in my own kitchen and I have a blast getting messy with new recipe ideas.
In these Food/Cooking blog posts, you will find recipes as well as stories, my thoughts on food, great tools to use in the kitchen, entertaining tips, and most of all: my insights on how to make your time in the kitchen a part of you as well as part of your home.
Cooking is my happy place – leveling the playing field, so to speak, and enabling me to feel equal to others.
Many of you may have seen the TLC reality TV show “little people BIG World” about my family. There are many scenes in our kitchen where I am cooking with and for family and friends. I love making food!
My interest in cooking and baking began very early
When I was a young girl, I used to watch my mom prepare dinner. She would gather all the ingredients and create the most delicious meals. I wanted to do the same but felt so intimidated. I had no idea where to begin and to make matter worse, I couldn’t even reach half the items I needed. Thanks to great patience, encouragement, and a stool from my mother, I learned some cooking basics and by the time I was about 13, I was making many of our family dinners. This was exciting for me but especially helpful to my mother as she had just started a full time job. My cooking also enabled the family to eat dinner earlier rather than later during the work week.
My interest and passion for cooking stood the test of time however and before long I was not only creating grocery lists but accompanying my dad on the weekly grocery runs. As crazy as it sounds, the grocery store was actually like the candy store to me. I loved to look at all the different kinds of produce, spices and products. The grocery store felt close to my heart, like a friend.
Finding my cooking inspiration
When most kids were watching TV comedy and drama shows, I was watching Julia Child. I was enthralled with her cooking ‘toys’ and worked hard to convince my dad that I could make even better meals if we got some of them too.
I also subscribed to ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Better Homes and Garden’ magazines so I could find new recipes. I would make the dish exactly as the recipe described and then I’d try changing a few things. My mom was happy that I enjoyed cooking and encouraged me to keep going. No one complained but I think it’s fair to say that although some of my concoctions were quite excellent, there were more than a few absolute disasters. Thank you to my family for eating some of those meals…
In the early ‘80s when I was learning how to cook, packaged food was becoming popular. Do you remember Minute Rice and Hamburger Helper? I learned how to incorporate some of these packaged foods into my meals although I did feel that they robbed me of some of my creativity and cooking fun. Using these packaged foods cut down meal preparation time and for working mothers like my mom, I knew that this was heaven.
The joy of cooking continues
I have always enjoyed cooking: the thrill of making a new recipe, experimenting with old recipes, and the great joy in bringing people together around my family table where “you are only a guest once and then you are family.”
I would love to hear your own journeys of food, cooking and how you build community around your table.