Food and I have always been tight.
I don’t think I’ve ever passed up a meal and when I did, it was against my will and because of some lame circumstance. I either had a stomach bug, or fell asleep on an international flight and no one bothered to wake me up when the subpar lasagna was being served, or the option to eat a meal just wasn’t available. When my mom says “We had a late lunch, that was your dinner”, it low key really infuriates me. Like what kind of world do you live in.
Eating three meals a day with little snacks in between has always been in my DNA. My mom said she noticed my love for food when I was a mere babe, because I would never stop eating. When the bottle ran out, I’d continue to suck the remaining air thinking milk would appear. When the mashed peas and carrots in my bowl were gone, I would open my mouth for more spoonfuls. Instead of hearing “here comes the choo choo train” I would hear my mother’s frustrated voice saying “It’s all gone … There’s nothing here!” (this is all according to my mom because I do not have a supernatural baby memory).
I share this small narrative to emphasize the fact that I have always, REALLY loved food, and I believe my love for food will never die or fizzle out. Now I noticed that people who claim they really love food are categorized into three classes.
The first class are people who see food as an art form. In addition to eating food, they love to whip up their own dishes, and are actually quite good at it. Experimenting with different flavors and textures, drifting from the classic dish of roasted chicken and learning how to cook lamb, pork and lobster, and presenting four course meals is second nature to them. Serving high quality food is euphoric and preparing the food is almost as good as eating it.
People in this class: Martin Berasategui, Ina Garten, Chrissy Teigen, Guy Fieri
The second class is a group of people who truly do appreciate dishes that are culinary works of art, but don’t find the act of cooking fascinating. Instead, they think cooking is quite tedious and would dish out a couple bucks any day before picking up a spatula. They cook because it’s a necessity and they can’t afford to eat out every day. Cooking is a means to an end and if they never cooked a day in their life they would be O.K.
People in this class: You know who you are
The third class is made-up of people who at first were not fascinated or excited by the thought of preparing a meal. But once they moved out and could no longer rely on their caretaker to make the meals, they had to woman/man-up, and then something magical happened.
They noticed there was something about slicing up a red bell pepper and chopping garlic that was almost therapeutic. The thought of switching it up in the spice department, creating a concoction of chili flakes, cumin, cayenne pepper and a dash of ginger, sends chills down their spine.
They’re not the most experienced chefs and definitely not the best. Every once in a while they’ll overcook the broccoli, make Tilapia that breaks apart and sticks to the pan, or drop a piece of egg shell in their eggs. But when they make a meal right, or even better, an entrée that looks just like the picture, the taste and satisfaction is incomparable because they finally mastered a dish!
People in this class: Mr. Eisenhower, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Garner and me
Ever since I’ve entered into matrimonial bliss (shout out to Max!) I’ve spent more time in the kitchen compared to when I lived at home with the fam. This time around instead of walking in to grab my plate of food, I’m the one who is actually prepping and sauteing our meals. But this transition hasn’t been too bad. I realized I actually enjoy making breakfast, lunch and dinner even though my cooking experience is nil.
This revelation inspired me to expand my horizons and challenge myself to bake new desserts and cook different meals. I also thought it would be fun to turn this new challenge into a weekly column on Kinsisters. In this column I’m going to document all the thoughts, encounters, challenges, triumphs and mistakes that I encounter as I try to complete each new recipe. If you’re interested in coming alongside me on this journey and are curious to see how my dishes turn out, below are a couple of things you can expect to see:
Meals or Baked Goods That Look Like a Hot Mess
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a professional chef or baker and never intend on being one. I’m just your ordinary gal who has made chocolate chip cookies from scratch and still doesn’t know how to properly cook steaks. I’m guestimating that around 30% of the recipes I try to complete will burn up in flames and I’m going to be extremely honest about when that happens, pictures and all. And I’m ok with that. I think.
Me Mentioning My Mom. A Lot.
If it wasn’t obvious from the very beginning of this post, I talk about my mom all the time. Especially when it comes to baking because my mother is an excellent cook and baker. She can seriously make anything good and I can only recall one bad meal that she’s made during my entire existence. It was this rubbery fish and really gross but we got past it and went out to sushi.
While her cooking skills are pretty high, she wasn’t always a fantastic cook and her humble beginnings make me hopeful for myself. Apparently when she married my dad, she didn’t even know how to cook an egg. It was PB&J sandwiches all day every day. What a lucky guy. According to her, to become a great cook all you need to do is actually cook, so hopefully this theory is true.
I’m most likely going to share multiple anecdotes that include my mother because my RV oven is a finicky son of a gun so I’ll probably bake everything at her house This means I will be receiving her help and hear a lot of her input and comments. Yay.
Subpar Photos of Food
I am not a photographer but I do plan on sharing photos of each dish. While I will most definitely try to get a shot of Raggou that gains 3K likes on Instagram, my chances are really slim.
So if I’m not sharing recipes I created myself, aesthetically pleasing photos of food and am just gonna talk about my mom a lot, why am I even doing this?
One reason I want to write this column is to add a little humor to your and my life. Whenever I accidentally skip a step, forget to buy an ingredient or leave something in the oven too long, a laugh quickly follows and the path of trying to right my wrongs is pretty entertaining.
The second reason is because cooking and writing is a great stress reliever and creative outlet for me.
But the third and main reason I am devoting time, money and energy towards this project, is to encourage you. It’s ok to try new recipes and totally botch them up. It’s ok to invite friends over for a dinner party and serve something that is overcooked or just looks really ugly (lol). You are not perfect and not all of your dishes will be perfect, and that is how life should be.
Your limited baking and cooking abilities should not stop you from baking the homemade cake you’ve always wanted to make, or Ben’s Cherry Glaze Rack of Lamb from “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (love that movie). So put yourself out there and take the risk of burning the bottom of your Lemon Everything Bread (foreshadowinggg). Plus, if you decide to try out the recipes I post, I’ll be making the mistakes for you, so you’ll know exactly what not to do.
If you are an excellent chef, professional chef or someone who truly despises cooking or baking, you are still welcome here. This column isn’t just for the third class of food lovers, it’s for everyone.
So thanks for taking the time to read my first post! Please feel free to send me recipe suggestions and cooking tips. I’d also love to know what class of food lovers you identify with, so tell me in the comment section! Here’s a refresher of the food loving classes: #1 (adore food and basically a pro chef), #2 (love food, hate cooking) and #3 (love food and ok at cooking but still love to cook!).
And on that note I bid you adieu!