Owning My Cooking
My fellow blogger, Hollaback Health girl, and smart and sassy friend Rachel has recently started a revolution. Her posts last week about owning your decisions, your feelings, and not being sorry for being the way you are have caught on across the blogosphere. People are writing about how they are not sorry they’re losing weight, dating a guy their family doesn’t approve of, or wanting to quit their job and open a bakery.
And all of this got me thinking: do I own my food?
I could get into all of the things I do (or should) own in my life, but over the past 8 months cooking has become so important to me. It is a creative outlet and a stress reliever. The food I make is how I fuel myself for everything I do all day. But still, I don’t talk about it much. I cook in my tiny kitchen, eat my food, then do everything else in my life without half a sentence of what I spent my evening doing or how I feel about it. My friends and family didn’t even know I was cooking and had a blog until 6 months after I started it.
So I wanted to put everything out there, the truth about my cooking, no embarrassment and no regrets. I’m owning it.
1. I love being in the kitchen. My Mom says I’m becoming “domestic” but really, working over the stove after a long day, no matter how much I put off actually starting to make dinner, helps me relax. As I chop, the heat of the oven warming my feet, the ingredients slowly coming together, I can think about nothing for 45 minutes except making something taste good. So what if I’m like a 50s housewife? I own it.
2. I get really upset when a dish comes out wrong. I can’t help it. Putting in the time and the money on ingredients and having it be an almost inedible disaster makes me so mad that I normally just throw the plate in front of Z on the table and don’t talk the rest of the meal. I’m a big baby, and I own it.
3. I am super frugal. As much as I’d love to buy goat cheese every week, $4 can sometimes even be too much. I try to keep our food shopping between $50 and $60 a week, for 2 people, 3 meals a day. Yes, the taste comes first, but I take pride in the fact that one of my meals can only cost $5 total to make, and sometimes even have leftovers. I don’t like to spend money, and I own it.
4. I don’t eat healthy when I eat out. I eat healthy for breakfast, lunch, and any dinner I make at home, so when I go out I am ordering wings and sharing nachos with you. Of course I’ll finish this entire take out box of pad thai. Yes, I’ll have fries with that. I think its ridiculous to order just a salad for dinner in a restaurant (unless its super amazing lobster salad). I enjoy eating out to the fullest, and this is also why I don’t eat out all that often. I love bar food, and I own it.
5. I’m scared when I cook for other people. I always feel like I might be fooling myself into thinking I make good food when really my taste buds are those of someone from Mars. I never have people over for dinner because I’m afraid to serve something to a group of friends and its awful, and they will question why I have a cooking blog in the first place. I only cook for myself and Z, and I own it.
6. I eat really boring things during the day. I essentially have the same breakfast/lunch/snacks each weekday, then come home and make something special at night. I’m working more at making my work lunches more exciting, but I don’t see anything exciting about eating lunch while sitting at my desk typing up emails. I look forward to dinner, the best meal of the day, and I own it.
7. More times than not I will be having a glass of wine while I’m cooking. Wine and food are meant to go together, and I own it.
8. I have a strange desire to be able to make everything from scratch. I love learning about making cheese. I want to shake milk in a jar until it turns to butter. I want to figure out how much sugar is needing in jam to make it gel. Sometimes I will write that I used something store bought, but really I spent and extra 45 minutes making it from scratch before I made the actual recipe. I spend, literally, hours in the kitchen, and I own it.
9. I avoid using oil and butter. I know, healthy fats are good for you, but if I don’t have to use them I won’t. I can’t help but think about the 3 miles I ran at the gym that day. I know that food needs to have these fats, especially for taste, but I always find myself reaching for the Pam. I feel like I’m breaking the #1 cardinal rule of cooking, but I own it.
10. Sometimes I feel like a total loser that I really like to cook so much, but sometimes I feel so awesome about all the things I can make. Now I think if I ever stopped making my meals I would become very sad. I love to cook, and I own it.
I own my cooking through the good and the bad, and you should too!