Growing up, my mother always cooked dinner. Her repertoire wasn’t large (I’d say there were about ten dishes on normal rotation), but she always made fresh food that nourished me and tasted good. For whatever reason, I had no interest in learning from her. Though I picked-up a few recipes here and there, such as her chicken schnitzel and delicious salad, I still have no idea how to make most of her signature dishes.
When my husband (known on Learning As I Chop as “H”) and I made the move to co-habitate two years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a better cook. To me, food was love. No, I don’t mean sitting and eating a tub of ice cream in one sitting. I’m more about preparing someone’s favorite dinner when they’ve had a bad day, or taking care of them via healthy and nutritious meals. Around that time, I also read an article in which the writer described her family as a “cooking family”; one that eschewed fancy restaurants to stand over a stove, fold raviolis and create memories. (Yes, I realize how hokey that sounds.) I wanted H and I to create that kind of family. Not only would we do it together, but we’d invite friends over, and set the table with pretty napkins and interesting dishes.Through home cooking, we’d create a home.
Problem: how could we be a cooking family, if I barely knew how to turn on the stove? In September 2008, I could boil pasta and scramble an egg, but I didn’t know how to prepare a basic meat sauce. Not even one that used jarred sauce and a cookbook recipe. Yes, that’s how novice I was. Since then, I’ve roasted a chicken, baked a meatloaf and perfected my chocolate chip cookie. Yet, I still have a lot to learn. So join me as a I cook may way from decent to great, one small cut and coup at a time.