Let me say off the bat that my wife is a brilliant cook. My grandmother and hers were brilliant cooks and she learned from them both and went on to surpass them. I burn rice. I burn beans, I burn potatoes. Anything that can be burned, I have found a way to burn it. On the other hand, I don't mind experimenting and I'm comfortable making a meal out of whatever's in the cupboard and can make something out of nothing. Missing ingredients do not bother me.
When I took up the cooking chores, I took it up in typical man-fashion. I bought kitchen tools. I bought cookbooks. My son Micah had told me which cooking shows to watch, so I checked them out. I learned to cook the way a student learns chemistry. Sheila was my coach and chief critic. In the early days I was a one star cook - maybe less.
But as I got better at it, I learned three great lessons about cooking.
3. Be not afraid. This is the first thing an angel always says when he appears to a mere mortal. It is the first thing an angel would say to a beginner cook I imagine. The tragic death of a souffle' is not the end of the world. It may just be that you aren't ready to do a souffle'. Me? It's highly unlikely I will ever even attempt a souffle', but I've taken on bread-baking, scratch-cakes and pies and homemade pizza. With my Mom's Betty Crocker Cookbook, I can take on anything. Besides, cooking is wonderfully forgiving once you get the bones of cookery learned.
Until you work a ball of bread dough with your hands, flatten a pie crust or lay down a lasagna layer by layer, you have not fully participated in the holy act of feeding yourself. Unless you have prepared a meal from scratch, with your own hands and your own brain fully engaged, you have not fully savored one of the finest things in life. Without learning the intricate interplay of flavors, textures and colors that go into good cooking, you miss an essential part of life.
You can choose to be a critic or an artist. The critic knows nothing. He nibbles at food. He often criticizes what he does not understand or appreciate. He looks around to see what the snobs say before he makes up his mind. That's why foods and cooks and restaurants that make me smile are often blasted by food critics. The critic is a sad little king on his sad little hill, looking down on a life they will never fully appreciate nor never fully savor.
|New York Style Pizza Recipe|
Start easy. It's fun to do stuff like this and, if you're a guy, the women-folk in your life will be mightily impressed. AND the great thing about it is, you don't ever have to eat food you don't like again if you're the cook.
© 2013 by Tom King