Who was your cooking inspiration, the 1 (or maybe more) person who really inspired your love for cooking? For me there were 2 such people.
Growing up it was my Grandma. In my childhood eyes she made it all seem so effortless, magical even. I cannot ever recall seeing her use or follow a recipe. It was all in her head. She could whip up the yummiest meals with ease. I knew when I grew up I wanted to cook those same meals for my own family. I envisioned myself cooking beside my grandma for big family events like Thanksgiving and Christmas. In my naive childish mind I thought she would always be there for me to call to ask questions on how to make this or that. I still have her phone number memorized to this day.
My Grandma passed away when I was 17. I never did ask her how to make most of the awesome things she made. They are all lost to me now. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back, pick her brain and write it all down. I know its in my mind somewhere and slowly some things have come back to me. Just simple things though, like her meatloaf-a recipe I promise I will post soon.
Poor poor Ted, because I lost my grandma so early I never was much of a cook. My idea of "cooking" involved a lot of frozen and pre-packaged meals. Our first few years together we had a lot of Hamburger Helper, frozen dinners, frozen pizzas, and mysterious looking things that came out of cans. A splurge for us, what we considered a really "good" meal was something like a Stouffers Lasagna or Banquet Homestyle meal. Needless to say, we ate out a lot.
After Teddy was born I really wanted to change this. I was no longer working and wanted to be the traditional stay at home mom who was an amazing cook. I wanted to have fresh baked cookies on hand all the time. Isn't that what SAHMs are supposed to do? Ok, so maybe that really only happens in black and white sitcoms but still, it was the vision I had. I tried to teach myself but I had zero skill and no idea what I was doing. The simplest of recipes were so intimidating and if it had more than 5 or 6 ingredients I wouldn't attempt it at all. It was beginning to look a little hopeless for me, and my family.
The second person who inspired my inner chef is my real life BFF, Sheena. I met her a little over 2 yrs ago. I can remember the first time I went to her house for a lunch playdate. To me lunch was frozen burritos or maybe a box of mac & cheese. She made a better meal for us to have for lunch than I had ever made in my life. I remember watching her and having flashbacks of my grandma. She had the same ease in the kitchen, the same knack for how to put things together and make them taste amazing. I was embarrassed to ask her at first but over time I started asking her to teach me how to make this or to give me the recipe for that.
Slowly but surely I began to become acquainted with my kitchen, to use the tools I had to make real meals for my family. Two years later and if you were to come and look in my kitchen you would not be able to find a single box dinner, no frozen meal, no can mystery concoctions. All that is there now are single ingredients that when put together make healthy delicious meals for my family.
I often tell Sheena I owe it all to her, and really I do. I hope she will want to do some guest blogs for us because she is an amazing cook! She said something to me last night that really stuck out in my mind. She said I always had it in me, I just needed a little push. That stuck out to me because I think we all have a little inner Rachael Ray/Paula Dean/who ever your favorite chef is in us. We just need the confidence to let them out. Did I become this miracle chef over night? NO! It took a lot of practice, trial and errors. Are all of the meals I make melt in your mouth make you moan delish? Not even close! I still make many mistakes in the kitchen. The thing is, the bad meals occur less and less between the awesome ones. Its to the point now that when I do make something bad Ted teases me and asks me what happened that day.
I hope our blog will help inspire many of you to just try. What the worst that can happen, you mess up and end up with pizza for dinner instead? Cooking is the same as everything else in life, you will never learn how if you don't try.