I’ve decided to learn to cook.
It’s not that I don’t know how to follow a recipe; I do. It’s just that the whole time-management piece of cooking is difficult for me: something always ends up undercooked, overcooked, flat-out burned, or done ages after the rest of the meal. It’s overwhelming. Instead, I fall back on things that can be easily “assembled” as opposed to actually “cooked”: tacos or burritos, pasta with sauce, a pre-roasted chicken, bags of salad.
My friend Nicole was amused when I shared the learning-to-cook idea with her. She reminded me that many of my closest friends are excellent cooks (I count her as both close friend and great cook, in fact) who would be willing to help me learn. I will take this into consideration, but I know myself; when I am bad at something, I tend to want to go it alone with just books to guide me, so that others are not aware of the depths of my ineptitude.
Still, I have decided to share the results of this journey with others. Since this is the year of fun, I needed some motivation to make cooking more enjoyable and less of a chore. I posted a request on Facebook for guinea pigs to come and let me cook for them. I’d get to entertain (fun!) but without the stress of feeling that things had to be perfect (the usual state of affairs that kills the fun before it even starts). I got a lot of takers, so I just need to get people scheduled. (In fact, I could go on a cooking tour up and down the West Coast if I so wanted! I love Facebook.)
Cooking adventure #1 took place this evening and was a brilliant success.
Sundays are my night on the family cooking schedule. However, I’ve had some medication-timing issues the last few days, and I’ve been in and out of bed all weekend chasing these nerve issues with gabapentin. I’d fallen asleep late this afternoon, and at 7:47 pm David woke me up to see if the dinner I’d promised to make would be forthcoming.
Lo and behold, I got right up. I put my pants on inside out. I took them off and tried again, with more success. I grabbed my phone and the dog and headed for New Seasons, where I acquired some lovely salmon fillets, some Yukon Gold potatoes, and some organic veggies. I came back and prepared a fantastic meal: citrus-basil salmon, green beans sauteed with garlic, and potatoes. Every thing was done at the same time and plated up nice and hot. I even had fancy lemon wedges for the fish.
David was astounded at the fact that I had awakened, shopped, cooked and cleaned up in just over an hour. He complimented the meal multiple times. Still thinking about it as we cleared the table, he made an interesting comment: “You didn’t belabor it at all. You just did it.”
I certainly did. I didn’t “face my fear of cooking,” either. I simply didn’t have the fear. I thought about what I wanted to eat, and I made it happen. It was cool.
I’m proud of myself. Let the year of cooking begin!