Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chronicles of Life ... the cook is in

There is a repressed chef somewhere inside of me. I think it's high time I let her out.

Lately I've been having this urge to cook more than just the simple dishes I make for dinner each week. Sadly, I mainly cook variations of baked chicken, brown rice and a green vegetable. My taste buds may not be that great, but a body does get tired of the same old thing.

I want food that touches my soul and my stomach, but mostly my soul. I could probably go to some restaurant and buy that type of food, but I think I want to actually make it.

This newfound desire to cook is a shock to me. I find the entire cooking process to be very challenging. For one thing, cooking stresses me out. I feel like I always have to labor over a hot stove and oven. Then I hate touching food, particularly raw meat. It tends to make me want to vomit. Also, cooking takes me forever. Those recipes that say 20 minutes or less equate to an hour for me.

Perhaps my problems are because I don't cook that often. Partially it's due to laziness. Rarely am I motivated to cook. I have to force myself to cook. I'm only cooking for me. Any meal I cook lasts a few days.

Nevertheless, I am determined to find my inner Chef Girlardee. I just need some taste testers. I used to have a few at my beck and call in college. One got to sample my peach cobbler. Others had my cinnamon pork chops. Some even sampled my chicken pesto. College is all about experimentation. Experiment I did with my cooking. I would take a recipe and add my own flair to it.

College students are more than happy to taste test for a free meal. My testers would tell me what was good or what was bad. I took their constructive criticism and used it to improve a particular dish. Once I graduated, I stopped cooking as much. I was busy with work, and I didn't have any taste testers.

I think I've finally figured out how to balance work and cooking. Instead of cooking because I'm hungry, I prepare a meal in advance and refrigerate it. Planning meals for a specific day also makes me a little more excited. I am determined to try one new recipe a week. Now I just need some new taste testers.

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