I’m sitting here drinking my post run smoothie (frozen tropical fruits, Stonyfield Banilla yogurt and OJ) and thinking about the nature and development of this blog. What would cause someone who doesn’t come up with her own recipes, who has never taken a cooking class, etc, why would I write about food and cooking?
I know my sisters and I took for granted that when we got home from school and post school activities there would be something that my mom made, from scratch, on the table. I don’t know how she managed this, and I know as a kid that sometimes frozen pizza and pop at other kids houses seemed like heaven compared to spinach tofu pie, but she did it. Salmon patties and pierogies, falafel, homemade granole, all of these power foods that we ate without considering what she was doing for us. Coming home from track or cross country, I would sit at our island in the kitchen, inhaling trans-fat free snacks from our pantry and watching as she completed what we were going to eat, sitting down at the table, together.
Going out on your own for college is a struggle for everyone. Even in a dorm the level of responsibility is immense, and one that we often don’t think about at 18, that we are now responsible for our health. My mom’s kitchen to a cafeteria might have been a bigger jump than it was for some people, but we were all dealing with the same “problem”, what do you eat in a land of pizza and hamburgers? Like many, I didn’t see it as a problem until later (with the pounds!) and then, meticulous calorie counting isn’t fun or healthy either. Striking out into my own apartment, getting my first cheap set of pots and pans and a bunch of kitchen hand me downs from my parents, pre-made foods won out as I realized what a feat a homemade dinner could be. Occasionally I would get a recipe from my mom and even less occasionally it would taste remotely like what she made, but I was easily frustrated.
Since starting graduate school is a new city, a legitimate distance from Milwaukee, I feel that cooking for myself and my husband has, besides its obvious health and money benefits, become a way to stay connected to the feeling of home that I developed growing up, and stay connected to each other. As each year goes by I cook more days a week, we eat less takeout, and continue developing this new skill set that has become a delicious part of our daily routine at this point. Eating dinner together may not seem like a big accomplishment and making it yourself may not be monumental, but they’re both important things to me. I hope that as I cook my way through Rachael Ray, Real Simple, and mom’s recipes that I begin to feel more flexible and creative and really learn how to cook. So it seems that the nature of this blog will be reviewing the successes and failures and sharing what I’m learning about food and cooking.