Barefoot in the Kitchen

When baking, Follow instructions. When cooking, go by your own taste

When I was younger, we always knew it was dinnertime when the smoke alarm went off. This is not to say that my mother was a bad cook.. she was just forgetful about the breads and baked goods for dinner.

We all sat down at a dinner table and ate together, swapping stories about our days and thoughts. My mom brought us all together with a simple meal that she cooked.

When I was old enough to be trusted with the stove, I tried to replicate my mom’s ability to throw a dinner together. It didn’t go well. I remember one time, when my parents at work, I actually caught a towel on fire while cooking. Luckily, my mom’s magazines were close-by, so I was able to quickly put it out.

Needless to say, I was not a good cook. My biggest accomplishment as a teenager was cooking Ramen noodles properly.

Once I was in high school, I decided I’d like to learn again. I mean, in a few years there was a chance of me living alone and then what? Ramen noodles every day?

My mom was patient with me, and slowly, I began cooking things that didn’t resemble the mush that they give prisoners in movies.

Now, years later, I’ve found that I excel at difficult recipes. It’s quite odd though because I still struggle at cooking simple items like grilled cheese sandwiches and Kraft Mac and Cheese.

I’ve come to love cooking and baking; it’s like being in science class and mixing ingredients to get the best possible results. When experimenting, I usually use my sense of smell to determine spices and herbs to use.. or in baking, the right amount of sugar and flour.

Me topping off my chocolate cheesecake

Me topping off my chocolate cheesecake

More than cooking and baking, I love having people over to enjoy the foods with me. For some unknown reason, there’s something great about cooking for hours and then having several people gush over how amazing you are. I don’t know what it is, but it’s nice. 🙂

But seriously, if you “suck” at cooking or feel like it’s a pain, find something that makes it interesting. Find a favorite recipe or something new that you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to keep practicing.

There are times when my food is “just okay” or something I simply toss after a couple bites, but overall, it feels good to finish cooking a good meal and sitting down at the table to eat. It brings me back to the days I lived with my family… and just for good measure, every now and then I burn something to set off the smoke alarm. Totally on purpose.. I promise.

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