My favorite things - More about me!

I'm shaking things up a little on the blog this week.  Going got step outside the normal posts and give you something a little different.  I kind of want to reintroduce myself to everyone!

Remember last week when I shared some things about myself?  A few of you asked more questions, and so today I'm going to answer one of them: When and why did you start cooking?

I started cooking when I was 5.  My Grandma Cook taught me how to make scrambled eggs.  I was spending a weekend with my grandparents and I wanted to know how you make scrambled eggs.  So she pulled a chair over to the stove (can you imagine doing that today?!  Can anyone say phone call to child protective services?) and showed me how to mix the eggs up, add a little milk, and then sprinkle cheese over the top.  That was the only time I got cheese on my scrambled eggs.  And that memory is still vivid in my mind.

I have many reasons for learning to cook.  I am the oldest of 5 girls.  And each time that my mom got pregnant, she was SUPER sick for her whole pregnancy - seriously, it was to the point that even the smell of meat would make her sick.  So she taught me to cook so I could help her.  It started simple - spaghetti, tossed salad, tuna casserole.  As I got older, it got more complicated - cookies, bread, chicken.  

But I really started COOKING when I left for college.  I had 3 roommates and we all had busy schedules.  We all came together on Sunday though and had a nice big dinner, sometimes with the occasional male guest.  Okay, A LOT of times with male guests.  I wanted to impress.  So I learned how to make rolls, crock pot roast, and gumbo.  

And then I took my first cooking class.  I was double majoring in Cultural Geography and Piano Pedagogy (teaching piano) and I thought it would be a fun and easy elective.  It was, and I loved it.  That's where I learned how to make a pie crust, custard, cakes from scratch, and I had a blast doing it.  I aced the class.  I should have taken a hint and gone to culinary school.  

Another reason I love cooking is that I have moved around and traveled a lot in my life.  It gave me the opportunity to try different cuisines and local produce.  
  • Washington, D.C. - Blue Crab
  • Biloxi - gumbo, shrimp, catfish, and red beans and rice
  • France - pastries, scallops, and escargot
  • Sacramento - kiwi and monstrous strawberries
  • Vancouver - blueberries, sushi, greek food
  • Russia - dill, beets, pork
  • Hawaii - Spam, real pineapple, and taro root
  • Mexico - ceviche and fish tacos
  • Las Vegas - ALL OF IT!  It's the best place to try everything.

I guess you could say that I've had a lot of experience with good food in my life.  And I love trying to recreate things I've tried or invent something in my imagination.  Creation is an inherent quality in all of us.  Whether it's art, machines, music, or marketing.  Or COOKING!  We all want to make something.  And cooking is my outlet.