Saturday, May 12, 2007

So, I'm not the best cook in the world, but...

I am sure better than I used to be. Tonight, I whipped out an orange cake with buttercream filling and an orange glaze for Mother's Day. I got to thinking about how far I've come in the past ten years. I remember when I first got married I didn't know how to cook and strangely, this didn't bother me all that much. I grew up thinking that learning to cook was an unimportant skill. I figured, if you could read a recipe, then it would follow that you could also cook. I think when I was engaged I asked my husband-to-be for a cookbook for Christmas. Perhaps, deep down I knew I was in big trouble. He gave me the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Well, If had a cookbook, I was set. Right? Okay, well, I learned the hard way that cooking was hard. Well, at least for me it was.

In college, I ate dorm food, but the year my roommate and I moved into an apartment, we really struggled in the kitchen. Our two other roommates were constantly making lasagna, cookies, bread (They had a bread maker), salads, casseroles, etc. It's hard to imagine how I managed to survive that year. My non-cooking roommate and I microwaved a lot of potatoes, ate canned soup, toast and probably cold cereal. I once tried to broil hamburgers, but forgot to put the pan underneath to catch the grease. My roommate still reminds me that she had to "drop and roll" out of the kitchen.

Today, I own a lot of cookbooks and I love looking at them. I can't go to the bookstore without checking out what's new in cooking and food. I love planning meals even those I don't actually make. I don't have to think so hard when I'm cooking anymore. I've learned to feel more at ease in the kitchen. So, tonight, I enjoyed the process of making the orange cake with the butter cream filling. Sometimes, it is surprisingly relaxing to cook. I've learned that life is meals and I better be planning for the next one. I've learned that cooking is so much more than making a meal. It's putting a little plate of love on the table.

So, no, I'm not going to be getting my own show on the Food Network any time soon and if I were, it would be a comedy, but it's nice to reflect on where I've been and nice to know that I won't be serving cold cereal or a microwaved potato with canned chili on top.

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