I loved cooking from an early age. I’m sure part of it was from watching my mom cook but I definitely think it was in my wiring. I remember making my own signature sandwich at age 9- a Kim Sandwich which consisted of a hot dog, cut in half and split down the middle, fanned out onto toasted Wonder bread with american cheese (you know, the kind wrapped in individual wrappers that had that shiny, plasticy look once it melted a little) and mustard. I would probably throw up if I tried to eat that today (seriously!) However, looking back it was a pretty good attempt using what was always available. I would venture to guess that most Americans could find those exact ingredients right at this very moment in their pantries and refrigerators. My new specialty sandwich is a curry chicken salad sandwich- organic chicken, grapseed oil veganaise, curry powder, celery, onion, pecans, and gomisaio with lettuce and tomato on Ezekiel bread…wow! That’s quite an evolution.
I would often ask if I could help make dinner- my favorite was browning the ground beef for spaghetti. I vividly remember making lasagna roll-ups with a friend for our boyfriends on Valentines Day.
When I went off to college and moved out of the dorms into a house with 4 other girls, one of my first stops was the grocery store. I stocked up on staples, and items I wanted to eat for the week. I was surprised to learn that none of my roommates were as excited to be rid of the dorm cafeteria. My food disappeared a lot which was somewhat annoying but I really did enjoy impressing my roommates and other classmates with my fancy dinners. When I met my boyfriend, now husband, I would enjoy going to the bachelor pad full of men and whipping something up.
When I got married, I took the challenge of cooking for my husband to an extreme. He was a very finicky eater- a meat and potatoes guy. I think he was over my fancy meals and gourmet dinner attempts. He just wanted steak and a baked potato. I used to get frustrated that he wouldn’t get excited about the meals I put so much time and effort into. We have both come a long way, he is more willing to try different things and I realizing that I didn’t need convoluted recipes and fancy ingredients to make good meals.
Early in our married life, we had friends of my husband as roommates. 4 total, 2 overlapping. I was constantly surrounded by testosterone. I came to realize first hand that men love to eat but typically don’t like to cook (I know there are men out there that cook but I have yet to meet one). I was always cooking for a crowd and it was fun. Our house was always (and still is) always buzzing.
The next venture was having kids (yes all the roommates had vacated by this point). Still passionate and determined to keep on cooking, I even made all my own baby food. Just steamed veggies and pureed them with a little filtered water. I remember going on vacation and sucking my sister in law into making baby food with me- her daughter was older and out of the baby food stage at the time.
To this day I make cooking a priority. Even though most of the time I am totally exhausted and emotionally drained- I still make it happen. I own a business with my husband, have three kids with several different activities daily, I volunteer at their schools, and I am taking classes in holistic nutrition, not to mention the half dozen other projects I am embarking on (including this blog).
It’s funny…I never really thought about all this stuff together like this until I sat down to write this. There was a definite progression and a constant thread throughout my life. I am proud to report that I am still evolving even without formal training.