Saturday, November 13, 2010

The First Step

Is there anything more truly comforting than food? I think not.

My fondest memories of home surround the kitchen table and a plate of sauteed shrimp with garlic and some crusty bread with cheese. I fondly recall the day my mother taught me how to make homemade egg noodles for chicken and noodles, and the story of how it was a staple in her home growing up because eggs and flour were cheap and a whole chicken would last for several meals. Things as simple as bacon and pancakes still remind me of Christmas morning. Yet I never realized how much I loved food and cooking until I moved into a place of my own and starting to learning to do it all myself.

Cooking for me is stress relief. Everyone has different levels and sources of stress, and I have several. Most of my stress at this point comes from being a respiratory therapy student, part-time employee at a local hospital, and a future bride. Most of the time I keep up with things pretty well and the stress doesn't hit me too hard... but sometimes, the only thing I can make myself do is cook. When my weekend is packed with studying, you can bet that I'll pencil in a couple of hours on Sunday to make something warm and comforting (a few weeks ago it was beef and barley soup with pumpkin scones... yum.).

And honestly, that's where I'm at tonight. This last week has been crazy between school and work and orienting for the new position I've been excited about forever but honestly didn't have time to worry about this week. I have a test on Monday that I've barely studied for, but you know what I'm doing? Baking apple pie and telling you lovely people about it. Will I regret it on Monday? Maybe, although I doubt it. It's hard to regret something as wholly comforting and delicious as apple pie. Plus what does it matter if I pass lab with an A+ if I have no sanity left by the end of the semester?

"So why is this girl blogging?" you may be wondering. Well, for one, I blame my mother for making me watch Julie & Julia. There is so much about Julie that I identify with. Just like her, I am still learning to cook and I am completely devoted to getting better at it. I get most of my inspiration from cookbooks and other cooks, just like her too. And I am a writer at heart... another trait we share. So I suppose we could consider Julie to be my inspiration. But really, I'm blogging because I love food. I love to cook, I love to eat... and I love to share it with other people (really... my friends are getting tired of getting picture messages from me of "the best pizza I've ever eaten" or "the amazing chicken cordon bleu I just made"). And as humble as my talents may be at this point, it makes me feel good to show someone what I've learned. I may not be the best cook yet, I may not have the best kitchen or the best tools or the best camera, but I'm trying, by God, and that's got to count for something.

So join me, if you will, in this lovely adventure I call learning. And please, by all means, critique me. Give me suggestions and teach me new tricks please! I am embarking on a grand and delicious journey, and I could sure use some friends. :)

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