About, Food

Cooking from Scratch

I love to cook. I find the chopping and cutting methodical. I am finding my ability to identify flavors and create tastes is becoming more and more natural. I find there is peace in the steps, gathering, chopping, cooking, and eating. The entire process calms me and thrills me at the same time. I love everything about it. I love that it is a way to care for others, I love that it is a way to care for myself. I love trying out the new and experiencing all the world has to offer in terms of flavors and dishes. I love that food never gets boring. I find peace in sitting around the table talking and enjoying together. There is a magic to it for sure. I found this is one of the places I do not feel I have to try, I do not have to stress (in most cases, if I am attempting to deep fry something you may want to steer clear of that situation). I find my zen in the creation. As I have continued to cook, I have started to trust myself, to trust my instincts and to learn that I know what I am doing when it comes to cooking. I actually can alter recipes to make them more enjoyable and to ensure I will have a better chance to like them. I love documenting my permutations and new creations.

I have always loved cooking, but I did not always take the time for it. Before we moved to Iowa, most of the time my husband and I ate food that was takeout. When we moved, I used that as the impetus for change, and decided we would only eat out once per week and everything else we consumed I would make or would come from a grocery store. I am not yet the most fabulous cook and I still buy store bought mayonnaise and bagels for their convenience.  I think it is interesting how a new setting can be the impetus for change. When you experience a big change in life it is easier to change the small things, no habits are yet it place. There is nothing that needs to be broken in order to be replaced. As we have moved to a new place, as we start again there are no habits, we have not even found our go to grocery store. We are starting from scratch both in our food and in our life.

Babka, my challenging recipe

There is something magical about taking nothing and turning it into something. Starting with a bunch of diverse ingredients and melding them into one, still distinct but part of something greater. Cooking from scratch can really be seen as what we do with life. We connect the dots through our existence. We start somewhere and make connections, strengthen them or break them over time. We start with what seems like nothing and turn it into something. At the beginning there is a daunting nature of trying to find our way. To create in a space where we don’t know the rules, where we wonder where to start and fear mistakes. The reality is until we try we won’t know the rules, each attempt makes us better, each attempt is an opportunity to learn. We can start again and try again. Each go gives us a chance for something new, a chance to create. In the kitchen I now attempt things that are daunting, for the sheer fact that the task will be daunting. I take up challenges, I try difficult things. There are still days where things do not turn out as I want them to, or where something I thought I liked, I no longer do. I evolve and change and grow and my tastes do as well. While the beginning things always appear scary, I would encourage you to just start. It does not have to be cooking, but take stock of the surroundings and make a step. You can usually backtrack if you need to and if not, you can adjust the product. We sometimes feel like our lives are so static that we must stay where we are for fear of change. Change is coming whether we want it to or not, each step gives us a bit of confidence, a chance to move to try again. So start where you are, take one step and see where it leads

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