I haven’t always been able to cook. Cooking was that elusive skill that seemed to have passed me over. In fact, if I am perfectly honest, it’s only been in the last four to five years that I have really learned the skill of cooking.
So how did I learn to cook? I think the only way to answer that is to explain how and why I didn’t know how to cook first.
When I moved out of my house to go to university I had never cooked a meal. To be honest, I couldn’t even boil water for noodles. My mother had always done the cooking in our house and I have never shown an interest in learning. Of course, my mother also did not try to teach me to cook either. So in the end, we are both to blame for my initial cooking failures. Well, while my dad put together furniture in my apartment, my mother gave me a crash course in cooking. Over two days she taught me a couple of relatively easy recipes and then was gone. I still did not feel comfortable in the kitchen, so I turned to microwave meals and take out. This continued to be the case for the next few years.
The odd time I did cook, it was a frantic affair. I distinctly remember one time calling my sister because I wanted an egg salad sandwich for lunch, but I have no idea how to make it. Having never boiled an egg before, I was stumped. So, after a good thirty minutes on the phone with her, I had my sandwich. Yes, she talked me through the whole thing from start to finish. It’s actually kind of embarrassing to look back at this now. But this also paints a picture as to how bad off my cooking skills were.
When I met the man who would become my husband twelve years ago, I still didn’t know how to cook. Luckily, he was excellent in the kitchen. When we moved in together, he did most of the cooking. I tried to help, but honestly, I was a bit of a hindrance. Over time, he encouraged me to learn some simple dishes. At first, if I had to use more than one pot, I got overwhelmed. He had to be there to help me, and man the second pot when needed.
Finally, after years of trying, failing and succeeding, I learned to cook. Suddenly, my husband was coming home to dinner on the table, whereas before he would cook after working a full day. Once I mastered one recipe, I moved onto the next. They didn’t always work out, but I was trying.
Once I had mastered this basic cooking, I set my sights higher. Cooking up boxed meals was easy, but cooking from scratch was a whole new game. Like before, I started with an easy recipe. I worked on one new from scratch recipe a month. Later on, I tried a new one each week. We quickly found recipes that we loved and I still make these items regularly today. Now, I make not only meals but snacks from scratch. Sure, they take time, and it would be easier to buy crackers from the store instead of making them. But I like knowing what goes into my food and more importantly, I enjoy making things.
The important thing to know is, that even if you have never cooked before, it is a skill you can pick up. Finding that starting point is the first step. The best way is to pick an easy recipe and go from there. Trust me, don’t try to learn how to cook a four-course meal when you can’t even boil water.
To share my cooking experiences with you, I will be regularly posting recipes. Some will be simple, while others will be more complicated. So, be sure to come back for a new recipe to try. You might just find something your family will love.